(Fox News) EXCLUSIVE: President Trump’s re-election campaign filed a libel lawsuit against CNN on Friday for publishing “false and defamatory” statements about seeking Russia’s help in the 2020 election.
“The complaint alleges CNN was aware of the falsity at the time it published them but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign while misleading its own readers in the process… the campaign filed this lawsuit against CNN and the preceding suits against The New York Times and The Washington Post to hold the publishers accountable for their reckless false reporting and also to establish the truth,” Senior Legal Adviser to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Jenna Ellis told Fox News.
Fox News obtained the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia where CNN is located. It states in part that CNN claimed Trump’s 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 complaint said that CNN was well aware the statements were false “because there was an extensive record of statements from the Campaign and the administration expressly disavowing any intention to seek Russian assistance” but promoted the claim anyway.
The complaint said that Trump’s legal team sent CNN a request to retract and apologize last month but CNN executives refused. The Trump campaign now seeks “millions of dollars” through litigation.
“The Campaign therefore was left with no alternative but to file this lawsuit to: publicly establish the truth, properly inform CNN’s readers and audience (and the rest of the world) of the true facts, and seek appropriate remedies for the harm caused by CNN’s false reporting and failure to retract and apologize for it,” the complaint said.
“CNN’s actions show willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression and that entire want of care which raises a presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences, and accordingly the Campaign is entitled to an award of punitive damages…”