CNN and Jim Acosta were flush with victory after the judge’s decision on their lawsuit to restore Acosta’s hard pass. Perhaps they rejoiced too soon. After Acosta’s terrible behavior was rewarded with a return of his press credentials based on his deprivation of due process, they thought they won.
It was A Pyrrhic Victory. The President only has to establish standards of decorum and due process. The President or his spokespeople can throw out the offender, cut the mic, and refuse to call on the offender. Another option is for the White House staff to leave the presser. They don’t have to be abused.
Chris Wallace asked the President his feelings about the decision.
“People have to behave. We’re writing up rules and regulations,” Trump told reporters gathered in the Oval Office on Friday, ABC News reported.
“If they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we’ll end up back in court and we’ll win. But more importantly, we’ll just leave, and then you won’t be very happy,” he said.
“Decorum,” he said when asked about what rules would be needed in future conferences.
“You can’t take three questions and four questions, you can’t stand up and not sit down,” he explained, referring to Acosta’s antics during last week’s tense exchange with the president as the CNN correspondent would neither sit down nor relinquish the microphone after Trump had answered his questions.
IT’S ABOUT DECORUM
“Decorum, you have to practice decorum,” Trump said.
“We want total freedom of the press. It’s very important to me,” he told reporters. “It’s more important to me than anybody would believe.”
“You have to act with respect, you’re in the White House,” he added. “When I see the way some of my people get treated at news conferences, it’s terrible. We’re setting up a certain standard which is what the court is requesting.”
The president reiterated that “we always have the option of leaving,” adding that “the other media and the press in the room won’t be happy.”
In summary, the White House does not have to take Acosta’s questions or those of anyone who treats them disrespectfully. They can refuse to take their questions. Perhaps they can shut down the mic if it happens again.
He can also throw Acosta out.