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Former President Donald Trump’s social media company is seeking $3.78 billion in damages in a defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post for publishing “an egregious hit piece” earlier this month that accused the company of securities fraud and other wrongdoings.
Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), the owner of Truth Social, filed the lawsuit on Saturday in a Sarasota County, Florida, state court house, which accuses The Post’s article of causing an “enormous” loss that created an “existential threat” to the social media platform.
“WaPo has been on a years-long crusade against TMTG characterized by the concealment of relevant information in its possession—a bitterly ironic truth for a publication whose motto is ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness,'” the lawsuit reads.
Trump launched Truth Social last year as an alternative to Twitter and other social media platforms for conservative users who said they were censored and discriminated against for their political views.
According to the lawsuit, the legacy media outlet published the online article headlined, “Trust linked to porn-friendly bank could gain a stake in Trump’s Truth Social” on May 13, 2023, which stated TMTG failed to disclose key details about a proposed merger to the Securities and Exchange Commission and shareholders.
“The clickbait headline of the WaPo Article… immediately grabbed the common mind of readers, falsely insinuating that TMTG was involved in shady business dealings,” the suit claims.
The article alleged a series of accusations involving a bank in the Caribbean islands that offered $8 million in loans to TMTG.
“[TMTG] borrowed money from a bank best known for servicing the adult entertainment, pledged a stake in the company for the loan and didn’t tell the SEC,” the article says.
The lawsuit says The Post published nine false claims and circulated the misinformation to its 2.5 million subscribers and 20 million Twitter followers.
“In order to further spread the smear and increase the damage to TMTG, WaPo engaged agents from both within and outside the company to broadly republish the defamation,” the complaint alleges.
A spokesperson for The Post declined to comment on the lawsuit.