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Trump Reelection Campaign Files Libel Suit Against CNN Over 'False' Russia Story

The reelection campaign of US President Donald Trump filed a libel lawsuit against CNN on Friday alleging the news outlet disseminated "false and defamatory" statements that suggested the president was seeking Russia's assistance in the 2020 presidential election.

The complaint, which was filed Friday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, said that CNN had claimed the Trump campaign “assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table," according to the campaign's website

"The complaint alleges CNN 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," Jenna Ellis, the Trump campaign's senior legal adviser, said in the Friday news release.  

"The campaign filed this lawsuit against CNN and the preceding suits against The New York Times and The Washington Post to hold the publishers accountable for their reckless false reporting and also to establish the truth: that the campaign did not have an agreement, quid pro quo, or collusion with Russia, as the Mueller Report concluded." 

In a social media post, the legal adviser noted that she would be further discussing the matter in a few hours.  

Earlier this month, Ellis announced in a March 3 news release that the campaign was suing the Washington Post for "false statements published in two articles" that related to the debunked Russigate narrative surrounding the 2016 US presidential election. 

Prior to the filing against the Washington Post, a libel suit was filed against the New York Times to "hold the news organization accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump's campaign," according to a February 26 news release

Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent and host of the network's "Reliable Sources," tweeted about a Fox News report on the matter and claimed that "experts say the suits are unlikely to prevail in the courts." 

The article at the center of the CNN lawsuit is an opinion piece authored by CNN contributor Larry Noble and was published on June 13, 2019. "Soliciting dirt on your opponents from a foreign government is a crime. Mueller should have charged Trump campaign officials with it" is the article's lengthy headline. 

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