Former US president Donald Trump is suing CNN for 475 million dollars (£419 million) in damages for allegedly defaming him to impede any future political campaign (Chris Seward/AP)
04 October 2022

Donald Trump files £419-million lawsuit against CNN for alleged defamation

04 October 2022

Former US president Donald Trump is suing CNN for 475 million dollars (£419 million) in damages for allegedly defaming him to short-circuit any future political campaign.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, focuses primarily on the term “The Big Lie” about Mr Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud that he says cost him the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.

There was no immediate comment from CNN.

Mr Trump repeatedly attacked CNN as president, which resonated with his conservative followers.

He has similarly filed lawsuits against big tech companies with little success. His case against Twitter for knocking him off its platform following the January 6 2021 US Capitol insurrection was thrown out by a California judge earlier this year.

Numerous federal and local election officials in both parties, a long list of courts, top former campaign staffers and even Mr Trump’s own attorney general have all said there is no evidence of the election fraud he alleges.

His lawsuit claims “The Big Lie”, a phrase with Nazi connotations, has been used in reference to him more than 7,700 times on CNN since January 2021.

“It is intended to aggravate, scare and trigger people,” he said.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Trump suggested similar lawsuits would be filed against other news organisations, adding that he may also bring “appropriate action” against the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.

The lawsuit comes as he is weighing a potential bid for the presidency in 2024.

New CNN chief Chris Licht privately urged his news personnel in a meeting more than three months ago to refrain from using the phrase because it is too close to Democratic efforts to brand the former president, according to several published reports.

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