In a stunning break with protocol, the White House said Wednesday night that it’s suspending the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta “until further notice.”
The move came just hours after Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, drew the ire of President Donald Trump and his allies by asking multiple questions at a post-midterms news conference. Trump insulted Acosta and called him a “terrible” person.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced in a statement that Acosta would be stripped of what’s known as a “hard pass,” which gives him access to the White House grounds.
CNN said in a statement that Acosta has the network’s full support.
The revocation of his pass “was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference,” the statement said. “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.”
7 p.m. on Wednesday, Acosta was stopped at the White House’s Pennsylvania Avenue gate where reporters usually enter. He was heading back to the White House for a live shot.
Acosta tweeted “I’ve just been denied entrance to the WH,”. Secret Service just informed me I cannot enter the WH grounds.
Acosta said. “I am now giving my hard pass to the Secret Service,”
Reporters who regularly cover the White House are routinely granted “hard passes” to ease entry and exit to the grounds. It is unclear whether Acosta will be granted some other sort of entry pass for his work. But on Wednesday night, he was turned away at the gate.