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Trump demands more ‘decorum’ from reporters, threatens to restrict media access

"We always have the option of just leaving."

Donald Trump yells at CNN reporter Jim Acosta during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on November 7, 2018. (Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images)
Donald Trump yells at CNN reporter Jim Acosta during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on November 7, 2018. (Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s administration was ordered to restore CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House credential in a ruling by a federal judge on Friday.

After the president berated Acosta for asking questions and implied that CNN deserved to be sent explosive devices last month during a news conference on the day after the midterm elections, Trump’s administration then used a doctored video to justify Acosta’s ban from White House grounds for the “inappropriate behavior” of not letting an aide rip a microphone out of his hands.

Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee and member of the conservative Federalist Society, ruled “the harm to Mr. Acosta in sustaining an ongoing violation of his Fifth Amendment due process rights outweighs the government’s interest in orderly, respectful press conferences.”

After Kelly’s order to do so, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s administration would “temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass,” but “there must be decorum at the White House.”

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The president also mentioned the need for “decorum” numerous times during media availability in the Oval Office on Friday, and threatened, “We always have the option of just leaving if we feel that things aren’t being treated properly.”

When he was asked about the “rules and regulations” for the media that his administration is supposedly “writing up,” the president claimed “You can’t take three questions and four questions and just stand up and not sit down. Decorum. You have to practice decorum.”

“We always have the option of just leaving if we feel, you know, that things aren’t being treated properly, that people aren’t being treated properly, we always have the right to leave. I think the other media, the other press in the room will not be very happy if that happens, but I’ve instructed my people when they’re not treated properly, you have the right to just leave. Any time you want.”

Of course, the calls for “decorum” from Trump and the White House ring hollow considering the president’s treatment of reporters.

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The president of the United States’ recent remarks to the media include “I know you’re not thinking, you never do,” “You are a rude, terrible person,” “What a stupid question,” “That’s such a racist question,” and “You’re creating violence by your question.”

Trump has also tweeted a video that depicted him physically assaulting CNN, discussed the cable news network’s “hatred”, called it “so disgusting,” and tweeted “Fake News CNN is dead!” Beyond CNN, he has referred to news media as “the enemy of the people,” a phrase also used by a 68-year-old man arrested by the FBI in August for threatening a mass shooting against the Boston Globe due to its criticism of Trump.

The president also addressed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election on Friday and joked about perjury, saying he wrote his answers to Mueller’s questions himself.

“I was asked a series of questions,” Trump said. “I’ve answered them very easily. I’m sure they are tricked up because, you know, they like to catch people. ‘Gee, was the weather sunny or was it rainy? He said it may have been a good day. It was rainy therefore he told a lie, he perjured himself.’ Okay, so, you have to always be careful when you answer questions with people who probably have bad intentions.”