President Donald Trump’s campaign filed another lawsuit over an opinion piece — this time against one of his frequent media targets, CNN. The suit follows ones against the Washington Post and the New York Times.
The CNN lawsuit claims that a June 13, 2019 CNN.com opinion piece from Larry Noble is defamatory, because it claims that the 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 defamatory article is false. In fact, the campaign has repeatedly and openly disclaimed any intention to seek Russian involvement in the 2020 election,” the lawsuit stated (read it here). It was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, but does not name Noble as a defendant.
“There have been no public statements made by the campaign with respect to the 2020 election that can be reasonably interpreted as ‘seeking Russia’s help’ or ‘leav[ing] that option on the table.'”
The lawsuit also accuses CNN of having a “malicious motive in publishing the defamatory article” and of acting “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.”
A CNN spokesperson said that they had no comment. The lawsuit claims that Trump’s counsel asked CNN for a retraction on Feb. 25, more than seven months after the article was published, but the network refused.
But the ACLU, responding to the Washington Post lawsuit earlier this week, said that “anyone who cares about the First Amendment should be troubled by the Trump campaign’s repeated attempts to punish and intimidate the president’s critics.”
That also was a similar reaction to that of the New York Times, which responded to the campaign’s libel suit by arguing that the campaign was trying “to punish an opinion writer for having an opinion they find unacceptable.”