Trump campaign threatens to sue CNN, citing Project Veritas videos

An attorney representing President Trump’s reelection campaign sent a letter to CNN on Friday threatening to sue the network over purported allegations of bias against the president.

Trump attorney Charles Harder wrote to CNN President Jeff Zucker warning that the Trump campaign intends to seek damages from the network based on secretly recorded videos posted in recent days by the right-wing group Project Veritas.{mosads}

“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,” Harder wrote.

Harder cited one CNN employee recorded by Project Veritas who alleged Zucker has a personal feud with Trump. Another employee captured on video complains that CNN does not live up to its “facts first” slogan, while a third lamented that the network wants to focus its coverage mainly on Trump and the ongoing House impeachment inquiry.

“The aforementioned examples are merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years,” Harder wrote. “We also expect substantial additional information about CNN’s wrongful practices to become known in the coming days and weeks.”

Harder alleged that CNN’s actions constituted a violation of the Lanham Act, a law enacted in the 1940s that governs trademark use and false advertising.

CNN dismissed the lawsuit in a statement on Friday.

“This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response,” Matt Dornic, a spokesman for CNN, said in a statement.

Trump, with Harder as his attorney, has threatened in the past to sue news outlets, but so far he has not followed through with the threatened litigation.

Harder did file legal action on Trump’s behalf against a woman who alleged the president kissed her without consent in 2016. A judge later dismissed Johnson’s lawsuit, and Johnson has since dropped it.

A case against CNN would likely face significant hurdles on First Amendment grounds.

Project Veritas often records surreptitious videos and edits them in an effort to highlight allegations of liberal bias. The CNN videos were picked by conservative media this week, and appeared to be referenced in a tweet from Trump suggesting Zucker should resign.

The president routinely chastises CNN as “fake news,” targeting specific anchors and reporters and complaining about coverage he dislikes. His supporters often chant “CNN sucks” during campaign rallies.

CORRECTION: An attorney for President Trump has filed legal action against a woman who alleged misconduct by the president. A previous version of this article omitted that action.

Updated Nov. 13 at 2:37 p.m.

Tags CNN Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign James O'Keefe Jeff Zucker Lawsuit Project Veritas Project Veritas
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