Donald Trump threatens to sue CNN for branding him a ‘liar’

Donald Trump is threatening to sue CNN for referring to his false claims about the 2020 election as lies.

“I have notified CNN of my intent to file a lawsuit over their repeated defamatory statements against me,” Mr Trump announced on Wednesday in a statement from his Save America political action committee.

The former president added he “will also be commencing actions against other media outlets who have defamed me and defrauded the public regarding the overwhelming evidence of fraud throughout the 2020 Election. I will never stop fighting for the truth and for the future of our Country!”

Mr Trump’s lawyers threatened last week to bring legal action against the cable network in Florida, citing numerous instances where Mr Trump was referred to in CNN reports as a “liar,” or the former president’s false claims about the 2020 election were deemed the “Big Lie.”

They argued Mr Trump isn’t technically lying because he isn’t knowingly saying things that are untrue.

“He subjectively believes that the results of the 2020 presidential election turned on fraudulent voting activity in several key states,” Mr Trump’s attorneys said in a letter to CNN last Thursday.

The letter includes a litany of articles and on-air reports Mr Trump is arguing are false and defamatory. He is also asserting that the network should dub the many leading Democratic figures who claimed Russia helped elect Mr Trump in 2016 as liars, too.

“CNN’s reporting, both before the election as well as after the election, consistently fed a narrative that denounced President Trump’s legitimacy and competency,” the letter continues.

The Independent has contacted CNN for comment.

What to call Mr Trump’s numerous, repeated false claims about the election has reportedly prompted considerable debate inside the CNN newsroom.

Chris Licht, the new president of CNN, reportedly has discouraged staff from refering to the seemingly non-stop barage of election conspiracies from Mr Trump as the “Big Lie.”

An anonymous CNN insider told Mediatie that the news boss wants to avoid terminology that sounds too close to partisan political slogans adopted by the Democratic party.

The term “big lie” was coined by Adolf Hitler in an anti-Semitic tirade against Viennese Jews, but later repurposed to describe how the Nazis and other regimes used repeated false information to gain and maintain power.

Mr Trump has taken issue with this comparison to the fascist dictator, writing in his letter to CNN last week it is “a particularly offensive slur for a man with Jewish members of his immediate family.”

The former president and businessman is famously litigious, having been the target of more than 4,000 lawsuits in his lifetime, and the initiator of more than a few himself.

During the 2016 campaign alone, he threatened to sue 20 different people, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The suits are often against media outlets who have run critical stories of Mr Trump, and the former president rarely follows through on his threats to bring legal action. He hreatened to sue the Washington Post in 2016 for writing about a bankruptcy at a Trump casino. In 2019, he threatened to sue CNN for false advertising by calling itself a news network.

A year later, he sued The New York Times for asserting a “quid pro quo” between Russia and the Trump campaign.

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