Donald Trump’s campaign team on Wednesday sued the New York Times for libel for a column published in March 2019, which discussed an agreement between the Republican candidate and Russian President Vladimir Putin to promote the election of the man of business in 2016.
It is the first time that Donald Trump or his campaign team has slandered the press group, which the president and ex-magnate of New York real estate have regularly criticized since the start of his first presidential campaign in 2015.
The organization “Donald J. Trump For President” claims damages “in the millions” of dollars, according to the document filed Wednesday with the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
The allegedly defamatory remarks are taken from a column by Max Frankel, former executive director of the daily between 1986 and 1994.
“There was no need for specific electoral collusion between the Trump campaign team and Vladimir Putin because they had a comprehensive deal: help defeat Hillary Clinton in exchange for a new pro-Russian policy,” he wrote in his post published on March 27, 2019.
“When it published these words, the Times knew very well that they were not true,” wrote the Donald Trump campaign team in a document signed by his lawyer, Charles Harder, without specifying that the text was published in the “Opinion” section of the newspaper.
“But the Times still published them, knowing that they were false and that they would deceive its own readers,” the organization continues.
The decision was made, according to the latter, “because of the extreme orientation of the Times and its animosity against the campaign team (Trump)”, but also to “improperly influence the presidential election of November 2020 “.
“The Trump team has turned to justice to punish an editorial writer for having an opinion it deems unacceptable,” a New York Times spokeswoman said in a statement to AFP.
“Fortunately,” she continued, “the law protects the right of Americans to express judgments and conclusions, especially when it comes to events of public significance.”
“Trump called the press + the enemy of the people +,” Democratic nomination contestant Bernie Sanders said in a statement, “and today, drawing inspiration from his dictator friends around the world, he is trying to return to press freedom (…) by attacking the New York Times (…) Enough “.