Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said Tuesday that CNN should get more serious about its reporting instead of suing the Trump administration.

The network filed a lawsuit this week after the White House suspended the press credentials of reporter Jim Acosta following a contentious press conference about the midterm elections in the East Room.

Mr. Woodward, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who worked alongside Carl Bernstein in breaking the 1970s Watergate scandal, criticized CNN’s lawsuit during a speech at the Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Fla.

“In the news media there has been an emotional reaction to Trump … too many people for Trump or against Trump have become emotionally unhinged about this,” Mr. Woodward said, NBC News’ Dylan Byers reported.

“The remedy [isn’t a lawsuit], it’s more serious reporting about what he’s doing,” he reportedly added.

Mr. Woodward, an outspoken critic of the president whose recent nonfiction book “Fear” described a dysfunctional and chaotic Trump White House, said CNN’s lawsuit is playing into the president’s game.

“This is a negative. … Trump is sitting around saying, ‘This is great.” … “When we engage in [Mr. Trump’s strategy] we’re taking his bait,” he said, according to Mr. Byers.

CNN’s lawsuit demanding that the White House reinstate Mr. Acosta accuses the administration of violating the reporter’s press and due process rights.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the suit Tuesday, calling it “more grandstanding from CNN.” She said CNN has nearly 50 hard pass holders in addition to Mr. Acosta and that he “is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment.”

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