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Trump campaign files suit against WaPo for ‘false and defamatory’ collusion claims in opinion pieces

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'The campaign files suit to publicly establish the truth'

ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump's re-election campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Washington Post, claiming that the national newspaper knowingly published false and defamatory claims in two opinion pieces that came out in June 2019.

The eight-page lawsuit, which was filed in D.C. District Court, points to June 13 post written by Greg Sargent, titled, "Trump just invited another Russian attack. Mitch McConnell is making one more likely." and a June 20 post written by Paul Waldman, titled, "Trump: I can win reelection with just my base".

In Sargent's piece, the campaign takes issue with "the defamatory claim that Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that the Campaign 'tried to conspire with' a 'sweeping and systematic' attack by Russia against the 2016 United States presidential election" and counters that "the Mueller Report concluded there was no conspiracy between the Campaign and the Russian government."

In regards to Waldman's post, the campaign singles out a line that reads, "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?" which it also says is defamatory.

"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," the lawsuit says in rebuttal. "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 suit also goes on to allege that the newspaper "was well aware at the time of publishing the foregoing statements that they were not true" and that the articles containing them "are part of the 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 statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory," said Trump campaign Senior Legal Adviser Jenna Ellis in a statement announcing the lawsuit. "The campaign files suit to publicly establish the truth and seek appropriate legal remedies for the harm caused by false reporting."

In relief, the campaign is asking for "Compensatory damages in the millions of dollars," the cost of the lawsuit and "Such other and further relief as the Court may deem proper."

Last week, the Trump campaign also filed a similar defamation suit against the New York Times over a March 2019 post that made claims about Russian collusion in an effort to hold the newspaper "accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump's campaign."

UPDATE:

In a statement to Blaze Media, at The Washington Post VP of Communications Kristine Coratti Kelly said "It's disappointing to see the President's campaign committee resorting to these types of tactics and we will vigorously defend this case."

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