CBS News White House reporter Major Garrett described an incident in which he had given up the mic instead of asking a question when President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE refused to call on him, saying he had done so out of "respect" for the White House as an institution.
The comment, made in an interview with The Larry O'Connor Show and reported by Mediaite, came during a conversation about an incident in which CNN reporter Jim Acosta tried to hold on to his mic during a recent White House press briefing.
The incident led the White House to revoke Acosta's hard press pass, leading CNN to sue the White House.
Garrett called the conflict between CNN and the White House "uncharted territory."
"We've never had a scenario like this, where the White House has revoked a hard pass. We've never had a journalistic organization of any kind sue the White House over that revocation," Garrett said Friday.
Garrett recalled in the interview an instance in which President Trump refused to call on him during a press briefing, after which Garrett deferred to another reporter out of "respect" for the White House and the president.
“Some of my colleagues might say ‘what did you do that for?' ” Garrett told O'Connor. “Some might say, 'you laid down and were too deferential.' I don’t feel that way.
"I deferred hoping he might call on me again, he didn’t, that’s how I orient myself to the institution," Garrett added. "I respect the institution and the country’s choice.”
He went on to say that White House reporters should aim to not become part of the story, at a time when Acosta and other reporters have frequently clashed with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“I do my level best to not make myself part of the story, and I think the best journalists operate that way," he said.
A judge ruled Friday that Acosta's press pass must be immediately reinstated by the White House following days of back-and-forth statements from CNN and the Trump administration over the incident.
"We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press," CNN said in a statement Friday following the ruling.