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Trump campaign sues CNN for defamation over 2020 Russia collusion claims

President Donald Trump speaks to the media after making a Christmas eve video conference call to members of the armed forces from Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL on Tuesday December 24, 2019. [RICHARD GRAULICH/palmbeachpost.com/TNS)
March 06, 2020

President Trump’s campaign has filed another lawsuit against a media organization on Friday.

The latest lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, targets CNN and accuses the outlet of publishing “false and defamatory” statements alleging that Trump sought help from Russia to win the 2020 election.

According to court documents, the lawsuit alleges that CNN “published false and defamatory statements of and concerning the Campaign, claiming that it ‘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 campaign accuses CNN of knowing that the statements were not true, but publishing them anyway. CNN reportedly did not contact the campaign for clarity on the claims before publishing them.

The Trump campaign sent a letter of demand to CNN last week for the outlet to retract the false claims and issue an apology, but CNN refused, the documents state.

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“The Campaign therefore was left with no alternative but to file this lawsuit to: publicly establish the truth, properly inform CNN’s readers and audience (and the rest of the world) of the true facts, and seek appropriate remedies for the harm caused by CNN’s false reporting and failure to retract and apologize for it,” the documents state.

The lawsuit also accuses CNN of “a systematic pattern of bias against the Campaign, designed to maliciously interfere with and damage its reputation and cause the organization to fail.”

Although the lawsuit does not describe a specific monetary amount, it has alleged “millions of dollars” in damages that it expects CNN to compensate. The campaign alleges it spent an undisclosed amount of money in “corrective advertising” to counter CNN’s false claims.

“CNN clearly had a malicious motive in publishing the Defamatory Article, and acted with reckless disregard for the truth. Extensive public information, known by and available to CNN, confirms that the Campaign has not sought Russian help in the 2020 election and has made no statements about seeking any such help,” the lawsuit alleges.

The Trump campaign has also filed similar lawsuits against The New York Times and the Washington Post.

“The campaign filed this lawsuit against CNN and the preceding suits against The New York Times and The Washington Post to hold the publishers accountable for their reckless false reporting and also to establish the truth,” Senior Legal Adviser to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Jenna Ellis told Fox News exclusively on Friday.