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Federal judge dismisses Trump's defamation lawsuit against CNN

According to the judge, Trump's defamation claims over the network's use of the phrase "the Big Lie" lacked merit.
Federal judge dismisses Trump's defamation lawsuit against CNN
Posted at 3:09 PM, Jul 30, 2023

A lawsuit filed by Donald Trump against the news network CNN has been dismissed by a federal judge.

In a federal lawsuit filed last year in Florida, the former president claimed that some news articles and on-air statements from a host on the network created a "false and incendiary association" between him and Adolf Hitler. Trump also said that the use of the phrase "the Big Lie," used in reference to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, was defamatory, as it allegedly generated feelings of "hate, contempt, distrust, ridicule, and even fear" towards Trump among readers and viewers.

Ultimately, Trump sought punitive damages amounting to $475 million in the lawsuit.

But in a ruling on Friday, U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal stated that Trump's defamation claims lacked merit because the references made were opinions and not statements of fact.

The judge further emphasized that it would be a stretch to believe that the phrase "the Big Lie" would link Trump's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results with Nazi propaganda in the minds of viewers.

"CNN’s use of the phrase "the Big Lie" in connection with Trump’s election challenges does not give rise to a plausible inference that Trump advocates the persecution and genocide of Jews or any other group of people. No reasonable viewer could (or should) plausibly make that reference," Judge Singhal wrote in the filing, first obtained by the Washington Post. 

According to the filing, Trump's lawsuit cited various instances, including opinion pieces by former CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza and one episode of CNN's "State of the Union," hosted by Jake Tapper, where the phrase "the Big Lie" was used.

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