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Defamation Lawsuit Filed Against CNN Over Ex-President’s Fraud Claims

On July 27, former President Trump stated that he intended to file a lawsuit against CNN, claiming that the network has repeatedly defamed him.

Former President Donald Trump

“I have notified CNN of my intent to file a lawsuit over their repeated defamatory statements against me,” Trump said in a statement. “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!”

In a 282-page letter sent from Trump’s attorneys to CNN, they ask for dozens of statements and articles to be retracted, which they allege to be false and defamatory. Many of these examples relate to CNN’s coverage of Trump’s claims of election fraud in 2020.

CNN called Trump’s claims of election fraud to be “baseless” and “lies,” among other language. While other news outlets have used similar language, Trump took issue with CNN specifically, and has critiqued the outlet consistently for years.

Previous Fraud Lawsuits Have Gone Poorly for Trump’s Team

Trump does not have a favorable history with election fraud lawsuits since the 2020 election. Over 60 lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies challenging the election. All but one were either dismissed for a lack of evidence or lost by Trump.

While this lawsuit is not about election fraud directly, CNN’s statements at the center of the case were discussing Trump’s election fraud theories. Thus, it is unlikely that courts will find CNN’s statements countering Trump’s claims of election fraud to be false.

Where Does Trump’s Lawsuit Funding Come From?

The single Trump legal victory surrounding the 2020 election regarded a lawsuit in Wisconsin filed against him. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and other officials asked Trump to pay legal fees they had to finance for their defense in Trump’s seven failed election lawsuits in the state. State officials sought coverage for their legal fees because they had to pay for them by using taxpayer dollars.

The court ruled that they lacked jurisdiction over the dispute, as Wisconsin officials waited too long to seek legal fees and sanctions against Trump’s lawyers. This case had little to do with election fraud directly, and was never even tried due to technicalities. Thus, this case did little to impact the continued failure of Trump’s lawsuits regarding election fraud claims.

For his previous election fraud lawsuits, the Trump campaign set up a fundraiser that raised $250 million in donations from his supporters. As revealed by the House Select Committee on January 6th, Trump’s supporters were told that their donations would go towards an election defense fund to cover legal fees to overturn the election results, but the fund was never actually created. The money went to the Save America political action committee, which distributed the money to several pro-Trump organizations run by those close to him.

It is unclear where funding for this lawsuit against CNN will come from. However, as Trump continues to take state, county, and local governments to court, taxpayers will continue to pay the burden for Trump’s big lie.


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