CNN sues Donald Trump over White House ban

The president berated political correspondent Jim Acosta during a post-midterms briefing last week, after which the journalist was accused of assaulting an intern who attempted to relieve him of the microphone.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders took aim at Mr Acosta for “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern” and he later had his press pass revoked.

CNN is now suing the president, whose decision the network said “violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights to due process”.

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“We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process,” its statement added.

“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone.

“If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

During the exchange between Mr Trump and Mr Acosta, the journalist was repeatedly shut down by the US leader as he tried to ask a follow-up question.

When the White House staffer tried to take the microphone, their arms momentarily came together and the reporter manages to keep hold of it, telling her: “Pardon me, ma’am.”

Ms Sanders was later accused of sharing a doctored video to make Mr Acosta appear more aggressive.

“We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass,” she said at the time.

“We will not tolerate the inappropriate behaviour clearly documented in this video.”

Storyful, a social media intelligence agency that specialises in video, later said its analysis showed the clip “contains extra frames that do not appear” in the original broadcast.

Its report claimed the video had several frames repeated and zoomed-in.

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