The Trump administration has revoked the press credentials of White House correspondent in what is being called Donald Trump’s “war with the press.”
The administration this week issued a 30-day revocation of the press credential for CNN correspondent and Playboy writer Brian Karem after his verbal spat with former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka last month. As The Guardian reported, the act is being seen as a direct attack on the press.
“The Trump administration has fired another shot in its war with the U.S. press,” the British newspaper noted.
Karem got into a shouting match with Gorka at an event that Donald Trump held in July for conservative social media figures. As CNN reported, the White House had notified Karem on August 2 that it had made a “preliminary decision” to revoke his pass and have him the opportunity to appeal.
This is now the second time that a critic of Donald Trump has had their press pass revoked. The Trump administration also withdrew the credentials for CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, claiming that he had been rough with a staff member and resisted an intern’s attempt to take a microphone during a press event. As the Washington Post noted, the White House shared footage of the event that was doctored to make it appear as if Acosta was aggressive, but video from the event showed that Trump administration’s claims were not true.
As CNN noted, the White House appeared to follow a different protocol with Karem. When Acosta’s press pass was revoked, there had been no warning. Acosta sued, arguing that he was entitled to due process, and a judge ultimately ordered the White House to restore his pass.
But Karem was given both a warning that his pass was going to be revoked and a chance to appeal, which he did.
Brian Karem, Playboy magazine’s senior White House correspondent, is suing the Trump administration over the suspension of his press pass, becoming the second journalist in less than a year to launch a legal battle over that credential. https://t.co/a4pJrT7tdU— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) August 17, 2019
Karem has sued as well and is represented by First Amendment attorney Ted Boutrous, who was part of the legal team that also represented CNN when Acosta sued to have his press credentials reinstated.
In an interview this weekend, Karem said he was not surprised and believes the White House will continue to target journalists who question Donald Trump.
“This is the White House ignoring due process, ignoring the First Amendment, going after reporters, chopping this up piecemeal, going after us one after a time,” Karem said. “Trying very much to silence a press that has been critical of this administration. And they will use any method to do it.”