The Donald Trump campaign filed a libel lawsuit against the Washington Post over two stories with allegedly false information on a conspiracy with Russia. On February 26, the campaign filed a similar lawsuit against the New York Times.
According to the Trump campaign, both lawsuits aim to hold mainstream media outlets accountable for intentionally publishing false information as fact.
“In two published articles [the Washington Post made] defamatory claims that the campaign ‘tried to conspire with’ a ‘sweeping and systematic’ attack by Russia against the 2016 U.S. presidential election and ‘who knows what sort of aid Russia and North Korea will give to the Trump campaign, now that he has invited them to offer their assistance?’” said Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to Trump’s re-election campaign.
According to Ellis, the complaint alleges the New York Times was aware of the false statements at the time of publication and did so with the intention of hurting Trump’s re-election campaign and misleading readers in the process.
The two articles in question and considered “defamatory articles” in the lawsuit are “Trump just invited another Russian attack. Mitch McConnell is making one more likely” by Greg Sargent and “Trump: I can win reelection with just my base” by Paul Waldman.
According to the lawsuit, the Sargent article contained a “defamatory claim” that Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded the Trump campaign “tried to conspire with” a “sweeping and systematic” attack by Russia against the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
The second article in question contained statements “who knows what sort of aid Russia and North Korea will give to the Trump campaign, now that he has invited them to offer their assistance?”
Trump’s campaign alleges the Washington Post was aware of the false statements at the time of publication.
“The statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory. The complaint alleges The Post was aware of the falsity at the time it published them, but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign, while misleading its own readers in the process,” Ellis said.