Conservative network files defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

Conservative network One America News Network (OANN) filed a $10 million lawsuit Monday against MSNBC and host Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowKrystal Ball accuses Democrats of having 'zero moral authority' amid impeachment inquiry Biden town hall on CNN finishes third in cable news race Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Elijah Cummings's widow, will run for his House seat MORE for calling the company “literally … paid Russian propaganda.”

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of California, accuses Maddow of making the claim in retaliation for OANN president Charles Herring accusing Comcast, MSNBC’s parent company, of “anti-competitive censorship” in refusing to carry the network as part of its cable programming, according to the publication.

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The lawsuit accuses Maddow of “[knowing] this statement was false” and making it with the intent of damaging the company’s business due to its vocal support of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE. It claims that in response to a retraction request, counsel for NBC Universal said Maddow was using “literally” in a figurative sense.

Maddow based the segment in question, which aired July 22, on a Daily Beast article reporting that on-air OANN correspondent Kristian Brunovich Rouz was also writing for state-owned Russian news outlet Sputnik, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"Their on-air U.S. politics reporter is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government,” Maddow said, summarizing the segment.

The Daily Beast report claims Herring “cut off contact” after the publication submitted written questions regarding OANN’s relationship with Rouz at his invitation.

The Hill has reached out to MSNBC for comment.