While most media cheered the White House’s decision to back down from their challenge to CNN and restore Jim Acosta’s press credentials on Monday, one man was not having it — Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.
On his show later that night, Dobbs expressed outrage over the whole affair and floated the idea that President Trump might have just been better off ignoring Judge Timothy Kelly’s injunction that temporarily restored Acosta’s press pass.
“Let’s be honest here,” said Dobbs. “Isn’t there a time where you have to just tell a district court judge to go to hell?”
The question prompted a laugh from Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett as Dobbs wondered whether Trump could legally have just flouted the order.
“The idea that you have to follow the diktat of a district court judge and create rules and can’t run the White House in the way that it has been run since time immemorial,” he continued.
Both Jarrett and another guest, lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, then faced the unenviable task of correcting Dobbs — who wasn’t having it.
“Well, uh Lou,” Dhillon began. “To be fair to the judge, if you read his ruling from the bench it seems clear that he felt he was constrained by a prior decision.”
Viewers didn’t get a chance to hear anymore about whatever precedent Judge Kelly cited however, before Lou cut her off calling it “nonsense.”
Lou is a charter member of President Trump’s Fox News cabinet. He’s partied with the president at Mar-a-Lago and Trump is known to regularly solicit his advice.
On Monday, what had been expected to be a lengthy legal struggle between CNN and the White House was abruptly terminated after the Trump administration fully restored Acosta’s press credentials. The network’s lawsuit against the White House was also subsequently dropped.
“Today the @WhiteHouse fully restored @Acosta’s press pass. As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House,” said CNN in a statement.
The resolution, however, came with some strings attached. Also Monday, the White House released new “rules” which they said would govern reporting behavior going forward and that anyone who violated the protocols could have their hard passes revoked. Among the measures, a cap of one question per reporter and a ban on follow ups. It’s unclear whether or how the rules will be enforced.