The Trump campaign on Tuesday filed a libel lawsuit against The Washington Post for “millions of dollars,” claiming the liberal newspaper published “false and defamatory statements” about an alleged conspiracy with Russia, Fox News reported.
The complaint obtained by Fox News was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. by attorneys David C. Tobin and Charles J. Harder. It points to a pair of Post articles published in June 2019 that included statements tying the Trump campaign to foreign campaign interference.
“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,” Senior Legal Adviser to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Jenna Ellis said in a statement, adding the Post reported “a conspiracy” as a fact.
The lawsuit says a June 13 article, headlined “Trump just invited another Russian attack. Mitch McConnell is making one more likely,” “contained the defamatory statement that Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Trump’s campaign ‘tried to conspire with’ a ‘sweeping and systematic’ attack by Russia during the 2016 election.”
The suit calls that claim “false and defamatory.”
“The Mueller Report concluded there was no conspiracy between the Campaign and the Russian government, and no United States person intentionally coordinated with Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election,” the complaint states.
The suit also cites another story, this one published June 20 and headlined, “Trump: I can win reelection with just my base.” In the piece is a line that says, “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?”
That, too, is “false and defamatory,” the suit says, because there “has never been any statement by anyone associated with the Campaign or the administration ‘inviting’ Russia or North Korea to assist the campaign in 2019 or beyond.”
“There also has never been any reporting that the Campaign has ever had any contact with North Korea relating to any United States election,” the complaint adds. “Obviously, the Mueller Report is a public record that has been extensively reported in The Post.”
What’s more, the suit says, “there is an extensive record of statements from the Campaign and the White House expressly disavowing any intention to seek Russian assistance” and “there is not a shred of evidence that there have been any contacts between the Campaign and North Korea.”
“The articles at issue herein also are part of the Post’s systematic pattern of bias against the Campaign, designed to maliciously interfere with and damage its reputation and ultimately cause the organization to fail,” the complaint states. “The Campaign was damaged in the millions of dollars, the specific amount to be proven at trial.”
Last week, the Trump campaign sued The New York Times for libel, sating that an op-ed published by the newspaper falsely asserted a “quid pro quo” between Russian officials and Trump’s 2016 campaign.