Trump Loses In $475 Million Defamation Case Against Major Political Opponent Of His

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Donald Trump has long fashioned himself as an opponent of the major media outlet CNN, but in a recent court decision, Trump-nominated federal Judge Raag Singhal rejected a case from Trump that sought to hold the network liable for defamation over ostensible connections made by personalities there between the former president and Adolf Hitler.

Trump had been seeking nearly half a billion dollars in damages. Trump’s team raised major concerns about specifically the use of the phrase the “big lie” to describe Trump’s claims about the 2020 presidential election, which he argued soon after it concluded and continues to argue now was affected by systematic fraud that’s never been conclusively proven. Although Singhal acknowledged concerns with the modern media environment and how what’s produced and distributed can lead to negative impressions for consumers, he found that the statements challenged by the former president and his team were not the assertive statements of fact needed for his success in this court challenge.

“Trump complains that CNN described his election challenges as ‘the Big Lie,'” Singhal wrote, as highlighted at Deadline in weekend coverage. “Trump argues that ‘the Big Lie’ is a phrase attributed to Joseph Goebbels and that CNN’s use of the phrase wrongly links Trump with the Hitler regime in the public eye. This is a stacking of inferences that cannot support a finding of falsehood.”

A statement of fact refers in this context to an assertion made with the accompanying impression that it is a purely factual retelling of events rather than something with an inherent argument about how a matter transpired, like the arguments Singhal found those at CNN to be making with comparisons arguably possible between Trump’s rhetoric about the last presidential election and historical examples of a “big lie.”

Trump could appeal. He remains expected to soon face criminal charges from Special Counsel Jack Smith at the federal Justice Department related to attempts he and others around him made after the 2020 presidential election to secure another four years in office despite losing.