Former US president Donald Trump has sued leading news network CNN for defamation. The lawsuit filed in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Monday seeks $475 million in punitive damages. Trump says the news network ran a "campaign of libel and slander" against 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 lawsuit says.
"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,'" it further adds.
Many Legal Battles
The 76-year-old former President is in the middle of myriad legal battles. The US Justice Department is investigating the former President over the alleged stash of government records at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. In another lawsuit, New York state Attorney General Leticia James said Trump inflated the value of his assets. Above all, US Congress is probing the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.
Trump and CNN have crossed paths earlier as well, as the network was decidedly anti-Trump during his entire presidency and the re-election campaign in 2020. Trump's campaign sued the network in 2020 after it published an op-ed by Larry Noble that insinuated that the President sought Russian help. "... the Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia's help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table," the article read.
According to the Deadline, the lawsuit points out five times when the term 'The Big Lie" was used to refer to Trump's charge of election fraud. "They including a January 25, 2021, CNN opinion article by Ruth Ben-Ghiat; July 5 and September 15 pieces by Chris Cillizza; a January 16 reference to "the Big Lie" by Jake Tapper on State of the Union; and another Cillizza piece from February 11," the publication says.