Former U.S. President, Donald Trump sued CNN for defamation on Monday, seeking
$475 million in punitive damages and claiming the network had carried out a
“campaign of libel and slander” against him.
Trump claims in his lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
that CNN had used its considerable influence as a leading news organization to
defeat him politically.
CNN declined to comment on the case.
Trump, a Republican, claims in the 29-page lawsuit that CNN had a long track record
of criticizing him but had ramped up its attacks in recent months because the
network feared that he would run again for president in 2024.
“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,’
” the lawsuit claims. The lawsuit lists several instances in which CNN appeared to
compare Trump to Hitler, including a January 2022 special report by host Fareed
Zakaria that included footage of the German dictator.
Trump, who in 2020 lost a re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, has not said
whether he would seek re-election.
In a statement, the former president said he would be filing lawsuits against other
major media companies “in the coming weeks and months,” and that he could even
take action against a congressional committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the
U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
The lawsuit comes as the 76-year-old former president faces considerable legal woes,
including a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for retaining
government records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office in January
Trump was sued last month by New York state Attorney General Leticia James, who
has accused him of lying to banks and insurers over the value of his assets.