Donald Trump’s lawyers tell CNN they will SUE over ‘bias’ as they pounce on undercover footage of junior producers and technical staff claiming boss Jeff Zucker ‘has a vendetta’ against the president
- Trump attorney warned CNN in a letter that they would be sued for falsely claiming to be a neutral news organization
- Lawyer threatened to seek substantial cash damages
- President has tangled with CNN for years, calling it a source of ‘fake news’
- Network says lawsuit threat is a ‘desperate PR stunt’ and won’t respond
- Undercover video produced by a conservative activist group showed junior CNN staff and technical broadcast workers saying the network is significantly biased
A lawyer for Donald Trump and his re-election campaign warned CNN in writing on Wednesday that the president intends to sue the cable network over news coverage that he believes is ‘highly biased against the President.’
Attorney Charles Harder cited recent undercover video published by the conservative activist group Project Veritas, showing junior CNN producers and technical staff arguing that their top management is firmly anti-Trump.
That footage and other unstated evidence, Harder wrote, proves that CNN’s promise to pursue ‘excellence in journalism’ is a fig leaf.
He threatened a lawsuit seeking ‘compensatory damages, treble [triple] damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, reimbursement of legal costs, and all other available legal and equitable remedies, to the maximum extent permitted by law.’
In a statement to DailyMail.com, a CNN spokesman said: ‘This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response.’
A lawyer for President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign told CNN in writing on Wednesday that he will sue the network for falsely marketing itself as a neutral, unbiased source of political news about the White House and its leader
CNN president Jeff Zucker was secretly recorded by a former technician; the whistle-blower claims he was ‘obsessed’ with Trump and wanted to focus the network’s broadcasts on impeachment
Harder also argued in his four-page letter that CNN is violating the Lanham Act, a federal law governing trademarks and false advertising – by claiming to the public and to its advertisers that it is a fair, balanced and politically neutral news publisher.
The law addresses ‘misleading’ descriptions of facts in commerce that misrepresent ‘the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin’ of goods or services.
Harder wrote that in the Project Veritas footage, ‘your employees appear to state that CNN attempts to make its reporting appear neutral and unbiased, when in fact its reporting is far from neutral.’
But he also suggested his proof of a liberal CNN prejudice goes further, saying the hidden-camera video is ‘merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years.’
‘Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called “mainstream” news, as the current situation,’ he added.
In one Project Veritas video, a field operations engineer vents that he is ‘not happy’ with CNN’s product.
‘I hate seeing what we were and what we could be, and what we’ve become,’ he says. ‘It’s just awful. Even though we’re totally left-leaning, we don’t want to admit it.’
The Washington Examiner first obtained the letter, which was uploaded to an anonymous account on the Scribd.com document-sharing website.
It suggests that CNN’s only hope of avoiding litigation is to reach a civil settlement – including ‘a substantial payment of damages’ of the type that the president would likely trumpet on the campaign trail.
Trump routinely singles out CNN as a purveyor of ‘fake news,’ and his rally crowds often erupt in chants of ‘CNN sucks! CNN sucks!’ before he arrives to speak.
One CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, has been openly combative with the Trump White House. He wrote a book this year that excoriates the president for calling journalists with their thumbs on the scales ‘the enemy of the people.’
Trump said Tuesday on Twitter that CNN was out to ‘destroy’ him, and asked: ‘Does this sound like a good, or even great, lawsuit?’