Former President Donald Trump says his defamation case against CNN for nearly half a billion dollars is about trying to force the media company to “prove the Big Lie,” a term its anchors and reporters frequently use to describe claims that the 2020 presidential election was illegitimate.
Mr. Trump hit the network with a $475 million lawsuit on Monday over accusations that it used its “massive influence” to repeatedly air falsehoods about him.
“They talk about the ‘Big Lie.’ I said, well, prove the ‘Big Lie.’ The ‘Big Lie’ is not a big lie at all. It’s the opposite. The ‘Big Lie’ is the opposite. All the stats — we have everything,” the former president told Real America’s Voice network’s “Just The News No Noise” on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, we haven’t had judges that want to look at it. They don’t want to change elections, etc. But you show us it’s a ‘Big Lie,’ they will never be able to do that. So, we sued CNN for a lot of money.”
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and lawsuits brought by Mr. Trump and others in the wake of the election were rejected by federal judges.
Still, Mr. Trump has a long-running feud with CNN. He vowed to bring legal action against the outlet earlier this year, but he’ll face high legal hurdles to prove his case because of his status as a public figure and First Amendment protections afforded to journalists.
The lawsuit name-checked several CNN anchors, on-air personalities and pundits, including hosts John King, Jake Tapper, Brianna Keilar and Don Lemon.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers asserted that the use of the phrase “Big Lie” was meant to associate him with Adolf Hitler, who was mentioned 53 times.