CNN is suing the White House over the revocation of reporter Jim Acosta’s press credentials, legendary reporter Sam Donaldson says.
Donaldson, the longtime ABC News White House correspondent, said on Sunday that he had been asked to submit an affidavit in the lawsuit, The Hill reported. The White House had announced this week that it was revoking Acosta’s press pass and claimed that he placed his hands on an intern who tried to take his microphone during a press conference with Donald Trump.
Video of the exchange showed that Acosta never made contact with the young woman, and in response, CNN took to Twitter and accused White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders of making “fraudulent accusations.” Sanders posted a clip of the incident on Twitter, one that editing experts said was manipulated to make it appear as if Acosta had touched the young woman when he had not.
Though Donaldson spoke on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, the network itself has shared no details about the lawsuit.
“We have reached out to the White House and gotten no response,” a network spokesperson said.
The White House has defended itself against the allegations, and on Sunday, counselor Kellyanne Conway admitted that the tape was indeed changed, sped up at the moment the young woman brushed against Acosta’s arm as she reached for the microphone.
She claimed that did not mean it was doctored.
“That’s not altered,” she said.
“That’s sped up. They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or a touchdown.”
Many had already called on CNN to file suit against the White House for the revocation of Acosta’s press access and for publishing a doctored video that made it look at if he had struck a White House intern when the actual video showed he did not make contact with her. The network even hosted constitutional law expert Floyd Abrams, who said in an interview on the show Reliable Sources that CNN would have a strong case against the White House.
“I think it’s a really strong lawsuit,” Abrams said.
“I can understand CNN being reluctant to sue because the president keeps saying CNN is the enemy of me, and CNN might have reluctance to have a lawsuit titled ‘CNN vs. Donald Trump.’ That said, yes, I think they should sue.”
Should CNN sue the White House for suspending @Acosta's press pass? Famed First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams says yes — and he told me CNN would have a "strong case." Here's a recap of today's segment https://t.co/UYIgNIB8eJ
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 11, 2018
Others have advised Jim Acosta to sue Sarah Huckabee Sanders for defamation for knowingly posting the doctored video, but Acosta has not discussed any plans to take action. He was in France this weekend covering Donald Trump’s visit to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.