Fox News, other outlets back CNN’s lawsuit against Trump administration

Fox News joined a number of media outlets on Wednesday in announcing that they would back rival CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration.

Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement that the network intends to file an amicus brief with a U.S. District Court in the lawsuit.

CNN filed suit against the White House on Tuesday seeking the return of correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials, which were revoked last week after a testy exchange with President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' MORE during a press conference.

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized," Wallace said.

"While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

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NBC News, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, Gannett, The New York Times, Politico, USA Today, The Washington Post and other outlets also plan to file briefs supporting CNN's lawsuit, according to a release from Ballard Spahr LLP, a law firm representing the outlets. 

“Whether the news of the day concerns national security, the economy, or the environment, reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions,” the news outlets said in a joint statement released by the firm.

“It is imperative that independent journalists have access to the President and his activities, and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons. Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question this President, or any President.”

CNN has argued that the Trump administration violated Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights of free speech and due process. The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and is being overseen by Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, who scheduled a hearing in the case for Wednesday.

The White House dismissed CNN's lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing the network of “grandstanding." White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Acosta “is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment." 

The White House has argued that it was justified in suspending Acosta's hard pass after he did not allow a White House intern to take the microphone from him during a press conference when Trump cut him off after he asked several questions about the migrant caravan and federal probe into Russia's election interference.

“After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions — each of which the President answered — he physically refused to surrender the White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions,” Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.

--Updated at 11:43 a.m.