President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said on Wednesday it was filing a libel suit accusing the New York Times of intentionally publishing a false opinion article that suggested Russia and the campaign had an overarching deal in the 2016 U.S. election, Reuters reported.
In an escalation of the Republican president’s long-running battle with the news media, campaign officials said the lawsuit was being filed in state court in New York.
Asked about the suit at a White House news conference later on Wednesday, Trump said the New York Times had “got a lot wrong over the last number of years.”
Trump said he would let the lawsuit “work its way through the courts. And there’ll be more coming.”
Separately, Trump assailed two other news organizations that he frequently criticizes, the cable TV news channels CNN and MSNBC, accusing them of presenting the danger from the coronavirus in as bad a light as possible and upsetting financial markets.
A campaign statement said the aim of the suit against the Times, among the most prominent American news organizations, was to hold the newspaper “accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump’s campaign.”
The lawsuit relates to a March 27, 2019, opinion article written by Max Frankel, who served as executive editor of the New York Times from 1986 to 1994.
A draft copy of the suit, attached to a campaign news release, accused the newspaper of “extreme bias against and animosity toward the campaign,” and cited what it called the Times’ “exuberance to improperly influence the presidential election in November 2020.”