Former US president Donald Trump is suing his media arch-nemesis, news channel CNN, for defamation, demanding $475 million for allegedly weaponizing its reputation as a “reliable source” to destroy his own. The real estate mogul turned Republican politician filed the suit on Monday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
“Beyond simply highlighting any negative information about [Trump] and ignoring all positive information about him, CNN has sought to use its massive influence —purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source — to defame [Trump] in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically,” the suit argues.
It adds that CNN used “scandalous” labels to destroy the former president’s image for its audience, denouncing him as a “racist,” “Russian lackey,” “insurrectionist,” and of course “Hitler.” The latter, at least, rises to the level of “actual malice,” Trump claimed, referring to the standard required for a public figure to claim defamation in the US.
The lawsuit furnishes numerous examples of CNN’s anti-Trump vitriol, pointing out that even infamously Trump-averse platforms like fact-checker Politifact have given CNN the “dreaded ‘Pants On Fire!’ designation” over its Hitler comparisons – of which over 645 were found in a scan of Westlaw’s news database. Read more…