Former US president Donald Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN yesterday, seeking $475 million in punitive damages and alleging that the network conducted a "campaign of libel and slander" against him.
In his complaint, which was filed in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Mr. Trump alleges that CNN exploited its substantial power as a premier news organization to defeat him politically.
CNN refused to comment on the situation.
Mr. Trump, a Republican, alleges in his 29-page lawsuit that CNN has a long history of criticizing him, but has intensified its attacks in recent months out of fear that he will seek the presidency again in 2024.
As part of a coordinated effort to push the political balance to the left, CNN allegedly attempted to tarnish the plaintiff with a succession of more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels, including 'racist,' 'Russian lackey,' 'insurrectionist,' and ultimately 'Hitler.'
The lawsuit details other instances in which CNN appeared to equate Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, including a January 2022 special report by anchor Fareed Zakaria that used footage of the German dictator.
Mr. Trump, who lost his re-election attempt in 2020 to Democrat Joe Biden, has not stated whether he will run again.
After leaving office in January 2021, the 76-year-old former president retained federal records at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, which is the subject of a criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice.
Mr. Trump was sued by the state attorney general of New York, Leticia James, who accuses him of lying to banks and insurers about the worth of his properties.
In addition, a congressional committee is examining the assault on the US Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, with an emphasis on the former president's role in the incident.