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CNN makes headlines as court kills Donald Trump’s $475m defamation suit

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Republican front-runner candidate for 2024 US presidential election, Donald Trump. — AFP/File
Republican front-runner candidate for 2024 US presidential election, Donald Trump. — AFP/File

A federal judge has dismissed a $475 million defamation lawsuit Donald Trump filed against CNN for calling his claim — that the 2020 election was rigged — the “Big Lie” after he was faced with new allegations in the Mar-a-Lago confidential materials case.

Donald Trump asserted in the lawsuit he submitted to a US District Court in Florida in October of last year that the phrase used by CNN equated the actions of the former US president to those of Adolf Hitler, the German dictator.

Judge Raag Singhal of the US District Court, who was chosen by Trump, the front-runner for the Republican candidate for president in 2024, dismissed the complaint on Friday.

“There is no question that the statements made by CNN meet the publication requirement for defamation under Florida law,” Singhal said in his ruling.

“The next question is whether the statements were false statements of fact,” the judge said. “This is where Trump’s defamation claims fail.

“The complained of statements are opinion, not factually false statements, and therefore are not actionable,” Singhal said. “CNN’s statements, while repugnant, were not, as a matter of law, defamatory.

“The case will, therefore, be dismissed.”

In his defamation lawsuit, Trump claimed that the network’s usage of the term “Big Lie” was a “deliberate effort by CNN to propagate to its audience an association between the plaintiff and one of the most repugnant figures in modern history,” The Hill reported.

Trump had a caustic relationship with CNN and other major news outlets like The New York Times during his White House term, branding them “fake news” and repeatedly raging against them on social media.

The twice-impeached Trump, who has continued to insist falsely that he won the 2020 presidential election against Democrat Joe Biden, is to go on trial in Florida in May on charges of mishandling top secret government documents.

Trump is also facing dozens of felony charges in a case involving hush money payments to a porn star in New York and is bracing for indictment in separate state and federal investigations into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

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