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Trump campaign sues New York Times

February 27, 2020

President Trump's reelection campaign is suing the newspaper for libel due to an opinion piece from a year ago. Filed in New York's State Supreme Court, it accuses the Times of intentionally defaming Trump.

Donald Trump holding a paper
Image: Reuters/K. Lamarque

US President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against The New York Times newspaper over an opinion piece it published in March 2019.

A statement from the campaign said the objective of the lawsuit was to hold the paper "accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump's campaign," in reference to the 2016 election drive.

Read more: Opinion: How Donald Trump undermines press freedom at home and abroad

'Extreme bias'

The Trump team's displeasure stems from an article written by US journalist Max Frankel which was headlined, "The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo."

The subheading stated: "The campaign and the Kremlin had an overarching deal: help beat Hillary Clinton for a new pro-Russian foreign policy." Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase meaning a favor in return for a favor.

A draft copy of the lawsuit accused the US daily of "extreme bias against (the campaign) and animosity" and accused The New York Times of having an "exuberance to improperly influence the presidential election in November 2020."

Journalists under fire: Who cares?

NYT: Law is on our side

The New York Times responded to the accusation in a statement, saying: "The Trump Campaign has turned to the courts to try to punish an opinion writer for having an opinion they find unacceptable. Fortunately, the law protects the right of Americans to express their judgments and conclusions, especially about events of public importance. We look forward to vindicating that right in this case."

Trump has frequently launched attacks on certain elements of the media both before being elected and after. He is hoping to win a second term when US citizens head to the polls on November 3.

jsi/ls (Reuters, dpa)

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