December 11, 2018

Press Freedom

United States

OPC Urges White House to Restore Credentials to Jim Acosta

New York, November 8, 2018 – The Overseas Press Club of America urges the White House to reinstate the media credentials for Jim Acosta, chief White House correspondent, CNN, and reverse an ill-advised decision to revoke Acosta’s access to the White House following his aggressive questioning of President Donald Trump.

Revoking a White House reporter’s credential is virtually without precedent and the Administration pulled Acosta’s press card on the grounds he inappropriately touched a female White House intern who tried to take the microphone away from him during the Q&A with the President, though video of the incident did not support the claim.

Jeff Mason of Reuters, who was seated next to Acosta, said he did not witness [Acosta] “placing his hands” on the young intern, as the White House alleges.”

Acosta has served as CNN’s White House correspondent 2013, building a reputation by forcefully challenging President Trump and other administration officials.

Acosta characterized the White House response as “lies” while CNN defended him in a statement:

“[Revoking Acosta’s credentials] was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference. In an explanation, press secretary Sarah Sanders lied. She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support,” said CNN.

The White House Correspondents Association also condemned the action to take away Acosta’s White House access. Olivier Knox, the WHCA’s president, said the group “strongly objects to the Trump administration’s decision to use US Secret Service security credentials as a tool to punish a reporter with whom it has a difficult relationship. Revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offense and is unacceptable.”