The Trump campaign named the Washington Post in a libel suit on Tuesday over two articles the paper published last year claiming that the campaign tried to conspire with Russia.
The first article, published June 13, asserted that the campaign ‘tried to conspire with’ a ‘sweeping and systematic’ Russian attack on the American electoral system, while a second article published on June 20 questioned ‘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?’
The lawyers for the Trump campaign note in the suit that special counsel Robert Mueller wrote in his report that his investigation did not find sufficient evidence to prove the campaign tried to coordinate with Russia during the 2016 election. As to the second charge, ‘there is an extensive record of statements from the Campaign and the White House expressly disavowing any intention to seek Russian assistance,’ the suit states.
Senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis described the statements made in the articles as ‘100 percent false and defamatory.’
The campaign is seeking millions of dollars in damages.
The lawsuit is the second in a week, after the campaign filed a similar libel suit against the New York Times over an opinion piece that claimed the campaign had an ‘overarching deal’ with Russia to ‘help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton.’
President Trump hasn’t been shy about his distaste for the mainstream media, but these collective suits suggest a change in his tactics. Reporters have claimed being called ‘fake news’ and the ‘enemy of the people’ has threatened or silenced them, but the risk of being sued for a hefty chunk of change will likely have a greater effect on making writers think twice before scribbling down potentially libelous information about the president. The irony perhaps is that the ‘fake news media’ has been a great boon to Trump — since the mainstream media’s obvious bias against him and the apparent, er, collusion between the Democratic party and the attack dogs of the press has made the public more sympathetic to Trump, not less.
Could Trump be gagging the people who, by endlessly and unfairly tarring him, make him look better than he is?