Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta does not have a constitutional right to visit the White House and that CNN's First Amendment right to freedom of the press is not being infringed by the 47-year-old's hard pass being revoked.

Spicer said the Atlanta-based news network has "five or six other reporters" who have hard passes to the White House grounds.

"It's not a right to be able to go over to the White House, it's a privilege," Spicer said. "It's Mr. Acosta's behavior that is the problem."

Acosta had his hard pass revoked after a contentious few moments between himself, President Trump and an intern who was trying to transfer the CNN reporter's mic to NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander.

Spicer said he wishes that Acosta, CNN and the White House could find "middle ground" instead of a lawsuit.


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"Bring the temperature down," he said. "Come to an agreement with all [credentialed] reporters... Agree to minimum standards of decorum and professionalism."

The lawsuit claims several members of the White House team infringed on Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights.

Spicer said that several reporters have confided in him that they are "disgusted" by Acosta's antics at White House press briefings, but that many are afraid to go against the "groupthink" the press has in that regard.

Spicer said Acosta wasn't asking Trump a serious question, but instead "challenging" the president's use of words in regard to the migrant caravan encroaching on the Mexican-American border.

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