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Federal Judge Dismisses Trump’s $475 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against CNN

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal dismissed Donald Trump’s $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN. Trump accused the network of likening him to Adolf Hitler during coverage of his false 2020 election fraud claims.

Trump’s legal team argued that CNN writers’ and anchors’ continued use of the phrase “Big Lie” incited “readers and viewers to hate, contempt, distrust, ridicule and even fear” the former president. The term has historically been used to refer to a propaganda technique that originated in Hitler’s Germany.

However, the Trump-appointed judge declared that CNN’s statements were presented as opinions and therefore Trump could not legally sue the network for defamation.

“CNN’s use of the phrase ‘the Big Life’ 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,” Singhal wrote.

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“Being ‘Hitler-like’ is not a verifiable statement of fact that would support a defamation claim. CNN’s statements while repugnant, were not, as a matter of law, defamatory,” the judge continued.

Trump’s failed lawsuit is yet another attempt by the former president to take down news organizations that do not favor him in the name of repudiating “fake news.” He has filed other lawsuits against CNN, and against The New York Times and The Washington Post, accusing the outlets of being politically motivated in their coverage.

Neither CNN nor Trump’s presidential campaign has commented on Friday’s ruling.

Ava Lombardi

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