White House Told To Return CNN Reporter's Pass

A judge has ordered the Trump administration to immediately return the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

US District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, an appointee of President Donald Trump, has announced his decision following a hearing in Washington.

The judge said on Friday that Acosta's credentials would be returned immediately and reactivated to allow him access to the White House.

CNN had asked the judge to force the White House to immediately hand back the credentials that give Acosta, CNN's chief White House correspondent, access to the White House complex for press briefings and other events.

Jim Acosta
CNN reporter Jim Acosta holds onto a microphone as an aide tries to take it away during a press conference.
Image: Erik S, Lesser/EPA

CNN asked for Acosta's credentials to be restored while a lawsuit over his credentials' revocation goes forward.

The White House revoked Acosta's credentials after he and Trump tangled during a press conference last week.

The judge said the government could not say who initially decided to revoke Acosta's hard pass.

READ MORE: Trump Demands 'Respect' From White House Reporters 

The White House had spelled out its reasons for revoking his credentials in a tweet from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and in a statement after CNN filed its lawsuit.

But the judge said those "belated efforts were hardly sufficient to satisfy due process".

The judge also found that Acosta suffered "irreparable harm", dismissing the government's argument that CNN could just send other reporters to cover the White House in Acosta's place.

Donald Trump had enough with Jim Acosta. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Trump has made his dislike of CNN clear since before he took office and continuing into his presidency.

He has described the network as "fake news" on Twitter and in public comments.

At last week's press conference Trump had a terse exchange with Acosta after the reporter asked questions about migrants heading to the US border and special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Acosta initially declined to give up a hand-held microphone to a White House intern after Trump told him "that's enough", and the president called him a "rude, terrible person".

The White House pulled Acosta's credentials hours later.