Trump files lawsuit against New York Times for Russian libel

“The Times was aware of the falsity at the time it published them, but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign,” said Trump’s senior legal adviser. 

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

President Trump’s re-election campaign filed a libel lawsuit against The New York Times on Wednesday, accusing the newspaper of intentionally publishing “false and defamatory statements” against the president in order to influence voters during the 2016 presidential elections.

“The statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory,” said Trump’s senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis.

The Times was aware of the falsity at the time it published them, but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign, while misleading its own readers in the process,” she said.

The article in question was a March 2019 op-ed titled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo,” written by a former executive to the Times, Max Frankel.

The piece alleged that Trump’s campaign reached a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whereas the Russians will help defeat Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton and in turn, Trump, if elected president, would adopt a favorable foreign policy position towards Russia.

According to Frankel, Russia kept its end of the bargain by meddling in the elections, but Trump did not deliver on his part of the deal.

“The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo,” Frankel wrote.

In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for The Times said, “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,” the spokesperson said.

As per this report, Frankel has not yet commented on this case when reached out to by U.S. news agencies.