Donald Trump sues CNN for $475m over ‘comparisons to Adolf Hitler’

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Donald Trump is suing CNN for $475million in punitive damages, claiming the global TV network launched a “campaign of libel and slander” against him, a Florida court filing shows. The lawsuit filed by the former US President’s lawyers said Mr Trump had been a “long-time critic” of CNN, “not because CNN does a bad job of reporting the news, but because CNN seeks to create the news”.

It then claims CNN has “sought to use its massive influence” as an established news outlet “for the purpose of defeating him politically”.

It then states that the network’s “libel and slander” had “escalated in recent months as CNN fears the Plaintiff will run for president in 2024”.

Mr Trump has not confirmed whether he will run for a second, non-consecutive term in office.

The lawsuit adds that 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 was filed in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale on Monday.

It references CNN’s January 9, 2022, ‘Special Report’, “The Fight to Save Democracy”.

The programme, hosted by Fareed Zakaria, included images of German dictator Adolf Hitler in a move the lawsuit said was “interspersing discussion of Hitler and Nazi Germany with footage of [Mr Trump]”.

However, the lawsuit does say that Zakaria did state in the programme that, “let’s be very clear. Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler”.

It then referenced an instalment of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” programme, broadcast in August 2019.

Brian Stelter, who hosted the show at the time, was speaking with psychiatrist Allen Frances, during which the latter claimed that “Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century”.

Writing on his Truth Social account, Mr Trump said the “time has finally come to hold CNN accountable”.

In 2020, Trump’s campaign filed a different lawsuit against CNN over an opinion piece that appeared on its website.

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The lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in November 2020 in Georgia, saying the campaign could not prove “actual malice” in CNN’s reporting.

The former US President’s re-election campaign also sued the New York Times and the Washington Post over opinion pieces published by the outlets.

The action against the New York Times for defamation was dismissed after the judge ruled the opinion piece in question was protected by the US constitution’s provisions on speech.

The Trump campaign also launched a lawsuit at the Washington Post over two opinion pieces, seeking damages totalling millions of dollars.

He was also sued last month by Letitia James, the New York attorney general, who claimed Mr Trump had been untruthful about the value of his assets.

CNN have been contacted for comment.

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