Committee to Protect Journalists calls on White House to reinstate Acosta's press pass

Committee to Protect Journalists calls on White House to reinstate Acosta's press pass
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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on the White House to reinstate CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass, saying that journalists should be "able to do their job without fear that a tough series of questions will provoke retaliation."

"The White House should immediately reinstate Jim Acosta's press pass, and refrain from punishing reporters by revoking their access — that's not how a free press works," CPJ advocacy director Courtney Radsch said in a statement on Thursday. 

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"In the current climate, we hope President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans move to block Yemen war-powers votes for rest of Congress Trump says he's considering 10 to 12 contenders for chief of staff Michael Flynn asks judge to spare him from jail time MORE will stop insulting and denigrating reporters and media outlets, it's making journalists feel unsafe," Radsch added. 

The comments come as the White House faces growing scrutiny over its decision to suspend Acosta's credentials.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that the move was made because Acosta, CNN's chief White House correspondent, become physical with a young female intern as he tried to ask Trump a question during a news conference.

Sanders later justified the administration's decision by sharing footage of Acosta's interaction with intern. The video shows Acosta initially refusing to hand over a microphone and his arm brushing up against the intern's in the process. 

Many reporters and social media users have claimed that the video Sanders shared was doctored.

CNN’s vice president of communications and digital partnerships, Matt Dornic, said on Twitter that Sanders was acting shamefully by releasing "actual fake news."

Others pointed out that the video Sanders released was initially shared by InfoWars, the site run by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. 

“Knowingly sharing manipulated images is equally problematic, particularly when the person sharing them is a representative of our country’s highest office with vast influence over public opinion," the White House News Photographers Association said in a statement.

Acosta has repeatedly sparred with members of the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Trump derided him as a "rude, terrible person" as he tried to ask him a question about the migrant caravan. 

Acosta says he acted professionally at the press conference, labeling Sanders's allegations a "lie."