The lawsuit, filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, accuses CNN of having “sought to use its massive influence—purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source” to defame Trump “for the purpose of defeating him politically.”
The effort resulted in CNN claiming credit for “[getting] Trump out” in the 2020 presidential election, attorneys for Trump said in the complaint (pdf).
“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,” Trump’s lawyers added.
In the filing, the attorneys said that CNN “has tried to taint [Trump] with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately ‘Hitler.’”
“CNN has been given the dreaded ‘Pants on Fire!’ designation by PolitiFact for its stories comparing Trump to Hitler. Still, it persists, requiring the time and expense of filing the instant lawsuit,” they wrote, later noting that CNN had “failed and refused to retract or correct the false and defamatory statements.”
Trump’s attorneys noted that there is “no statutory cap on punitive damages” because CNN allegedly had a “specific intent to harm” Trump, and its conduct allegedly did harm him. As such, Trump “may recover in excess of $2 million and in excess of four times his actual damages—the limits that Florida law otherwise would provide.”
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ‘Big Lie’
The attorneys said that “[o]ne of the most pervasive associations between [Trump] and Hitler that CNN has employed is its use of the term the ‘Big Lie’ in
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