According to several Monday reports, former President Donald Trump is suing cable news network CNN for purportedly creating “fake news” about him in a defamation suit seeking $475 million in compensation.
The Florida lawsuit argues that “beyond simply highlighting any negative information about the Plaintiff and ignoring all positive information about him, CNN has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a “trusted” news source — to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers.”
The suit claims that people on CNN’s shows have given Trump “defamatory labels of ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately ‘Hitler.'”
The suit further argues that the twice impeached former President is suing the network “to vindicate his reputation as a dedicated public servant and to establish CNN’s liability for the harm it has caused to his reputation by the false, defamatory, and inflammatory mischaracterizations of him.”.
The suit comes a month or so after Trump’s case suing Hillary Clinton and dozens of others whom he claimed had conspired against him in the Russia/Ukraine scandal was thrown out of court.
Several pundits weighed in on the legitimacy of the suit, with MSNBC’s Katie Phang noting the lawyers who signed off on the suit include “insurance defense attorney, Lindsay Halligan, and white-collar criminal defense attorney, Jim Trusty.”
National security lawyer and Above the Law writer Brad Moss called the suit “garbage.”‘
Attorney and husband of former Trump spokesperson Kelly Ann Conway, George Conway responded to the lawsuit a little more sarcastically:
“Local lying liar who lies claims reputation was damaged by news reports saying he lied.”
CNN’s Renato Mariotti said that lawsuit “isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on” and labeled it “a media stunt, not a serious lawsuit.”
First Amendment lawyer for pro-free speech organization The FIRE, Adam Steinbaugh, weighed in as well:
“First Amendment protects the right to opine that Donald Trump is a racist, demagogic insurrectionist and compare him to any number of dictators.”