Former President Donald Trump made good on his word Monday and, following years of alleged partisan coverage in a “concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the Left,” he’s taking “the most trusted name in news” to court for nearly half a billion dollars over their “campaign of dissuasion.”
Filing a complaint with a demand for a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Division, Trump’s attorneys called out years of believed defamatory statements made against their client by CNN.
Demanding $475,000,000 in punitive damages, the court document asserted that, “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, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”
“CNN’s campaign of dissuasion in the form of libel and slander against the Plaintiff has only escalated in recent months as CNN fears the Plaintiff will run for president in 2024,” the filing continued. “As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the Left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately, ‘Hitler.'”
Additionally, Trump posted a statement to his social media account on Truth Social that read in part, “the time has finally come to hold CNN responsible and legally accountable for their willful deception and defamatory statements made about me and both, directly and indirectly, my strong, devoted, and patriotic supporters–People who love the United States of America, but have been treated very unfairly, at so many levels.”
He went on to note, “In the coming weeks and months 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,” before suggesting similar action might be taken against the Jan. 6 committee dubbed “The Unselect Committee” by Trump.
Included in the 29-page complaint was a response from CNN to Trump’s 282-page letter sent to the network in July where his lawyers notified CEO Chris Licht and General Counsel David Vigilante that “CNN must publish a full and fair correction, apology, or retraction, in the same editions or corresponding issues of the website publication in which the aforementioned articles, transcripts, or broadcasts appeared and in as conspicuous a place and type as said original article, transcript, or broadcast within ten (10) days,” or they would be sued for damages.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 28, 2022
The network’s response read: “CNN has had the opportunity to review your letter of July 21, 2022, and to evaluate your demand to take down and retract the 34 articles and television segments you identify as defamatory, and to cease referring to representations made by former President Trump regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election as ‘lies.’ We decline your request.”
“While we will address the merits of any lawsuit should one be filed, we note that you have not identified a single false or defamatory statement in your letter,” they claimed. “It is well-established that the outcome of the 2020 presidential election was unaffected by fraud, as verified by the dismissal of no fewer than 50 lawsuits by judges across the United States asserting otherwise, the sanctioning of multiple attorneys for making unsubstantiated election-fraud claims, and investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, Congress, and various state and local bodies.”
“As to your preservation demand,” CNN concluded, “we will preserve the relevant materials to the extent required by law. We send this response without waiver of CNN’s rights and remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.”
Supporters of Trump responded in their own way on social media.
BREAKING: Trump sues CNN for defamation, seeking $475 million in damages
Every Trump Supporter should sue CNN! We all have a case.
Raise your hand if you agree ✋
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) October 3, 2022
Trump suing CNN for defamation and seeking $475 million in damages is the feel-good story of the week
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) October 3, 2022
Trump just filed a $475 million dollar defamation lawsuit against CNN. I hope he wins 🏆 🙏🏼
— Cody Alston (@CodyAlston_) October 4, 2022
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