Brian Karem, Suspended Playboy White House Correspondent, Reinstated By Federal Judge

Karem is represented by the same lawyer was able to get CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press credentials reinstated last year.

Brian Karem of Playboy Magazine argues with conservative military and intelligence analyst and former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump Sebastian Gorka (not pictured) after the President made a Rose Garden statement on the census July 11, 2019.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Karem is represented by the same lawyer was able to get CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press credentials reinstated last year.

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered that the White House reinstate Playboy White House Correspondent Brian Karen after the Trump administration suspended his press credentials following an argument in the rose garden with a conservative radio host.

According to a report Tuesday evening from The Daily Beast, District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras said in his opinion that he believed Karem would be successful in arguing his suspension was unlawful.

The White House “failed to provide fair notice of the fact that a hard pass could be suspended,” Contreras wrote in his opinion, per The Daily Beast.

On Sunday, Karem said that he believed the Trump administration’s action in suspending his press access was “unprofessional,” per a report from Politico.

“I am provocative, and I am a smart-aleck, but I’m not going to apologize for that,’ Karem told CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday during an appearance on the network’s “Reliable Sources.”

“That’s OK, under the First Amendment. There have been far worse altercations occurred in the Rose Garden and by members of the press in the past.”

The White House said it suspended Karem following an altercation in the White House Rose Garden where Karem argued with conservative radio talk show host Sebastian Gorka in a moment that was captured on video and subsequently went viral on social media.

According to Politico, the lawsuit was brought by Karem against President Donald Trump and White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Stephanie Grisham. The center of Karem’s argument was that the White House enacted the suspension, which was put in place for 30 days, based on unwritten rules.


During the appearance on the CNN Sunday show, attorney Ted Boutrous said that the arguments he made in court in Karem’s case were largely the same as the arguments he made last year when he represented CNN anchor Jim Acosta following a similar credential suspension by the White House. Boutrous claimed that Karem’s suspension was an attempt by the Trump administration and its new press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who earlier this summer replaced Sarah Huckabee Sanders in that role, to “squelch and intimidate reporters.”

Karem echoed Boutrous’ statements and said that the Trump administration would not publicly rebuke the First Amendment, though he said they would “come at” journalists “sideways” in order to stifle the press.

Meanwhile, the White House has not had a press briefing at the White House since March 11, per CNN, meaning the last daily press briefing was delivered by former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Grisham has only done two press gaggles and one television appearance since she assumed her role in late June, CNN reported.