Former President Donald Trump threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against CNN over its usage of the term “Big Lie” and “lying” when reporting on his challenges to the 2020 election.
A notice of intent to bring civil action was sent by Trump’s lawyers to CNN, including new President Chris Licht and Executive Vice President David Vigilante. The notice demands that CNN publish a retraction, correction, or an apology.
“CNN must publish a full and fair correction, apology, or retraction, in the same editions or corresponding issues of the website publication in which the aforementioned articles, transcripts, or broadcasts appeared and in as conspicuous a place and type as said original article, transcript or broadcast within ten (10) days from the date of service of this notice,” it reads (pdf).
“Failure to publish such a correction, apology, or retraction will result in the filing of a lawsuit and damages being sought against you, CNN.”
The notice also calls on the network to “immediately cease and desist from its continued use of ‘Big Lie’ and ‘lying’” when referring to Trump’s subjective beliefs about election integrity.
It said that CNN maliciously linked Trump to Adolf Hitler and communist leaders by describing his election claims as the “Big Lie.” According to the notice, the network used the term in connection to Trump more than 7,700 times since January 2021.
In its notice to CNN, Ifrah Law, a Washington-based law firm, included hundreds of pages of exhibits.
“After the 2016 election, various members of the Democratic party gave numerous televised statements claiming the 2016 election was illegitimate. This included suggestions about Russian interference causing President Trump to win the election and regular referrals to President Trump being an ‘illegitimate’ President,” the notice stated.
“CNN repeatedly allowed for assertions that President Trump was illegitimately elected to go largely unchallenged, including statements made by Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Jimmy Carter, Jerry Nadler, John Lewis, Dianne Feinstein, Marcia Fudge, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”
In a statement from his Save America committee published on Wednesday, Trump suggested that he might file lawsuits against other news outlets.
“I have notified CNN of my intent to file a lawsuit over their repeated defamatory statements against me,” Trump said. “I 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!”
Trump has long argued that the United States should change its libel laws to make it easier to file lawsuits against media outlets.
CNN has not responded to a request for comment.