Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement on Wednesday that the network intends to file an amicus brief with a U.S. District Court in the lawsuit backing rival CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration.
CNN filed suit on Tuesday against the Trump White House seeking the return of correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials, which were revoked last week after a fiery back-and-forth exchange with President Trump 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.”
CNN argues that the Trump administration violated Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights of free speech and due process.
The White House dismissed the lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing CNN of “grandstanding.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Acosta “is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment.”
“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.
The statement is a walk back from Sanders’s initial statement falsely accusing Acosta of “placing his hands” on a female White House intern during an earlier news conference with the president.
In a statement posted on Twitter, CNN challenged Sanders’ account and argued that the revocation of Acosta’s access to the White House “was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference.”
“Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied,” the cable news network said of the explanation. “This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support.”
Acosta tweeted that the accusation is “a lie.”
Sanders later shared a doctored video, which only shows a few seconds from the interaction, on her official Twitter account to justify the White House’s decision to revoke Acosta’s press credentials.