US President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign sued Washington Post on March 3, a news agency reported. Alleging defamation, it asserted that two opinion articles published in 2019 falsely claimed that that campaign conspired with Russia. This comes as the US Presidential election is scheduled to take place in November this year.
The lawsuit cites a June 13 opinion piece by Greg Sargent that said Trump tried to conspire with a “sweeping and systematic attack” by Russia against the 2016 US presidential election. It also cites a June 20 opinion piece by Paul Waldman. Waldman in his op-ed wrote, “Who knows what sort of aid Russia and North Korea will give to the Trump campaign, now that he has invited them to offer their assistance?” Jenna Ellis, a senior legal advisor to the Trump campaign told international media that the statements “were and are 100 per cent” false and defamatory.
This comes days after the campaign escalated its feud with media organisations by filing a libel lawsuit in New York State court in Manhattan against The New York Times for a 2019 opinion piece. In an Op-Ed published on March 27, 2019, Max Frankel wrote an article on alleged collusion between Trump and Russia which titled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo”.
In the article, the author alleged that rather than “detailed electoral collusion”, the Trump campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s emissaries had an “overarching deal” in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential elections. “The quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy,” wrote Frankel, a former executive editor of The Times. Trump’s re-election campaign sued the English daily alleging that the Op-Ed article carried by The Times falsely asserted a “quid pro quo” and “knowingly published false and defamatory” statements.
(With inputs from agencies)