Former President Donald Trump has filed suit against CNN for defamation, according to a Bloomberg news service report. It said the ex-president claims the cable news network has escalated a campaign of libel and slander against him because it fears he’ll run for re-election in 2024.
News reports from various wire services say Trump is seeking at least $475 million in damages.
As reported by Bloomberg, the suit, filed by Trump lawyers Monday in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, asserts that CNN has attempted to taint Trump “with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately ‘Hitler.’”
“Beyond simply highlighting any negative information about the plaintiff and ignoring all positive information about him, CNN has sought to use its massive influence -- purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source -- to defame the plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically,” Trump’s lawyers wrote, according to the Bloomberg account of the court filing.
CNN didn’t immediately respond to that news service.
In a statement issued early Monday evening, Trump himself added some context to his suit, framing it as the first step "in the process of standing up to Fake News and the Mainstream Media."
"In the coming weeks and months," he wrote, "we will also be filing lawsuits against a large number of other Fake News Media Companies for their lies, defamation, and wrongdoing, including as it pertains to “The Big Lie,” that they used so often in reference to their disinformation attack on Presidential Election of 2020.
"Likewise, we may bring appropriate action against the Unselect Committee of January 6th because, notwithstanding overwhelming evidence, they REFUSED to investigate the massive Presidential Election Fraud which took place, but only investigate and harass the people and Patriots who complained and asked questions about it. The rigging and stealing of our Presidential Election was perhaps The Crime Of The Century, and look at what is happening to our Country now!
"The Unselect Committee has refused to acknowledge, as was done by the Biden Inspector General at the Department of Defense, and others, that days ahead of January 6th, I recommended and authorized thousands of troops to be deployed to ensure that there was peace, safety, and security at the Capitol and throughout the Country. That offer of National Guard was rejected by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Mayor Bowser of Washington, D.C.—the law requires their request, they failed to make one, and in turn failed the Country."
Trump has sued other perceived critics, albeit with limited success. For instance, a suit accusing his 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton and others of conspiring against him with fake claims of campaign collusion with Russia was tossed by a judge last month, reports say.
Trump has been a vocal critic of CNN, lauding its lagging ratings and staff churn and celebrating reports that new leadershjp there is aiming to move the notoriously left-leaning news operation more to the center.
Recently, he posted this to his social media platform, Truth Social: “Fox News is really pushing the Democrats and the Democrat agenda. Gets worse every day. ... If CNN ever went conservative, they would be an absolute gold mine, and I would help them to do so!”
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