Trump sues CNN for defamation, seeks $475 million
Washington, Oct 04: Former US President Donald Trump is suing American broadcaster CNN for defamation, seeking $475 million (€481 million) in punitive damages.
Trump is accusing the network of running a campaign of "libel and slander" against him. He contends that the channel wants to derail any future political efforts he might have.
The former president has not clearly stated yet if he plans to run for office again in 2024, after losing to President Joe Biden in 2020.
The lawsuit was filed in a US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. CNN said it had no comment on the lawsuit.
'Aggravate, scare and trigger people'
Trump claims in the 29-page lawsuit that CNN used the phrase "Big Lie," which has Nazi connotations, more than 7,700 times in reference to him. The network's use of the term was in reference to Trump claiming without proof that Biden "stole" the 2020 election from him.
"The 'Big Lie' is a direct reference to a tactic employed by Adolf Hitler and appearing in Hitler's Mein Kampf," Trump's complaint said.
"As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of 'racist,' 'Russian lackey,' 'insurrectionist,' and ultimately 'Hitler'," it added. "It is intended to aggravate, scare and trigger people."
Trump planning more lawsuits
Trump also alluded to filing similar lawsuits against other news organizations "in the coming weeks and months."
The former president said that he was also planning "appropriate action" against the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.
Trump's lawsuit comes at a time when he is being investigated by the US Justice Department for keeping sensitive government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office in January 2021.
On August 8, the FBI seized over 11,000 documents — including some 100 with classified markings — in a court-approved search at Trump's Palm Beach club.
Last month, Trump was sued by New York state Attorney General Leticia James, who accused the former Republican president of fraud and alleged that he lied to banks and insurers over the value of his assets.