Former US President Donald Trump sued CNN for defamation on Monday, seeking $475 million in punitive damages, claiming the network had carried out a “campaign of libel and slander” against him.
Trump claims in his lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that CNN had used its considerable influence as a leading news organization to defeat him politically.
He claims in the 29-page lawsuit that CNN had a long track record of criticizing him but had ramped up its attacks in recent months because the network feared that he would run again for the presidency in 2024.
CNN appeared to compare Trump to Hitler, lawsuit claims
“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,'” the lawsuit claims.
It also lists several instances in which CNN appeared to compare Trump to Hitler, including a January 2022 special report by host Fareed Zakaria that included footage of the German dictator.
The Republican, who in 2020 lost a re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, has not said whether he would seek re-election.
Back in February, Trump heralded the abrupt resignation of CNN’s President Jeff Zucker calling Zucker a “world-class sleazebag” that “heeded ratings and real-news-challenged CNN for far too long.”
“[Zucker] has been terminated for numerous reasons, but predominantly because CNN has lost its way with viewers and everybody else,” Trump said at the time. “Now is a chance to put Fake News in the backseat. Jeff Zucker is gone—congratulations to all!”
The lawsuit comes as the former President faces a criminal investigation by the Justice Department for retaining government records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in the southern state after leaving office in January 2021.
Last month, Trump and three of his children were served with a lawsuit alleging “years of bank, tax and insurance fraud.”
New York attorney general Letitia James is suing the former US leader, his family, and the Trump Organization.
If successful, it could halt Trump’s ability to do business in the state for years and even includes a referral for possible federal prosecution.