WASHINGTON: US Former President Donald J Trump on Monday (local time) sued CNN, accusing the network of engaging in a smear campaign against him ahead of the 2024 presidential elections.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump is seeking more than USD 475 million in damages.
The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in southern Florida, alleging that CNN has sought to use its influence with viewers to spread false claims about Trump for the purpose of defeating him politically.
As per The Wall Street Journal, Trump accused CNN of associating him with Adolf Hitler and portraying him as a Russian lackey and a racist. The network, he alleged, has been escalating these efforts recently in the expectation that he may run for president again in 2024.
It is to be noted that over the course of his business and political career, Trump has frequently threatened to sue media organizations over news coverage.
In 2020, his re-election campaign sued The New York Times and The Washington Post over opinion articles that linked the former US President to Russian interference in American elections, The New York Times reported. In 2019, Trump threatened CNN with a lawsuit over "unethical and unlawful attacks."
CNN called that threat "a desperate PR stunt." A suit never materialized, as per The New York Times. Meanwhile, following the day when Trump's legal team filed a lawsuit against CNN, the former US President threatened legal action against various news media outlets and the House select committee investigating the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol.
The Hill reported, Trump, however, did not specify what other media outlets he plans to sue but said he would file lawsuits against them for their "disinformation" about the 2020 election, which he lost to President Biden.
"In the coming weeks and months we will also be filing lawsuits against a large number of other Fake News Media Companies for their lies, defamation, and wrongdoing, including as it pertains to 'The Big Lie,' that they used so often in reference to their disinformation attack on Presidential Election of 2020," Trump wrote in his statement cited by The Hill. The former president said he would target the Jan 6. committee for not investigating his claims of election fraud.
"The Unselect Committee has refused to acknowledge, as was done by the Biden Inspector General at the Department of Defense, and others, that days ahead of January 6th, I recommended and authorized thousands of troops to be deployed to ensure that there was peace, safety, and security at the Capitol and throughout the Country," Trump added.