Trump Campaign Hits CNN with Lawsuit for 'Millions of Dollars'


President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign filed a libel lawsuit against CNN on Friday for publishing “false and defamatory” statements about the campaign, claiming it may “again” seek aid from Russia in the 2020 election.

The complaint was filed in federal district court in Atlanta, where the network is headquartered, and points to a June 13, 2019 Op-Ed by CNN contributor Larry Nobel, titled “Soliciting dirt on your opponents from a foreign government is a crime. Mueller should have charged Trump campaign officials with it.”

In it, Nobel alleges “(t)he 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 author’s byline in the article lists him as “the former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission (1987-2000).”

The Trump campaign complaint states, “It is not entirely surprising that CNN would publish such blatantly false statements about the Campaign. There is extensive evidence that CNN and its writer, Larry Noble, are extremely biased against the Campaign.”

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“The news stories at follow the same extremely biased news perspective.”

The Trump campaign responded to Nobel’s specific allegation, saying, “There have been no statements by the Campaign that either constitute or imply an intention by the Campaign to seek or consider seeking Russian assistance in the 2020 election, or to ‘leave that option on the table.'”

According to the complaint, the campaign’s legal counsel sent a written letter to CNN on Feb. 25, 2020, demanding the network “retract and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements. CNN refused.”

So the lawsuit was filed 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.”

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The complaint says that the damage done to the campaign amounts to “millions of dollars” which will be proven at trial.

Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to the campaign, told Fox News that CNN knowingly published the false statement.

“The complaint alleges CNN was aware of the falsity at the time it published them but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign while misleading its own readers in the process … 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.”

“False statements are not protected under the U.S. Constitution; therefore, these suits will have no chilling effect on freedom of the press. If journalists are more accurate in their statements and reporting, that would be a positive development, but not why these suits were filed,” Ellis added.

The standard for a public figure, like Trump, to successfully sue for libel is proof of “actual malice” in knowingly or acting in reckless disregard by publishing false information.

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The complaint alleges CNN’s conduct reached that threshold.

The legal team references undercover videos released by Project Veritas last fall as proof of CNN’s malice against Trump.

“In the Project Veritas footage, Nick Neville, a Media Coordinator at CNN, admits that CNN’s chief executive, Jeff Zucker, has a personal vendetta against the President,” the document states.

According to Project Veritas, Neville says, “Jeff Zucker — basically president of CNN has a personal vendetta against Trump. Your own biases are gonna be there. They’re going to seep into what you think, they’re gonna seep into what you say.”

He added, “if Jeff Zucker like blatantly hates Trump, and he runs CNN (which he does), it’s not gonna be positive (for you guys)…no I mean it’s not gonna be positive for Trump. He hates him. It’s gonna be negative!”

The complaint also notes in another Project Veritas video, John Bonifield, a Supervising Producer at CNN states his network’s coverage regarding Russia’s alleged interference with the 2016 election was “bulls—” and that the president “is probably right to say … you are witch-hunting me.”

The legal filing states, “CNN’s actions show willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression and that entire want of care which raises a presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences, and accordingly the Campaign is entitled to an award of punitive damages against CNN.”

Late last month, the Trump campaign sued The New York Times alleging a “systematic pattern of bias” in its coverage.

The lawsuit claims the news organization “knowingly published false and defamatory statements” about Trump claiming he had an “overarching deal” with “Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy” to “help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, released last April, found no evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith