Experts Dismiss Trump's Threat to Sue Network

CNN calls the letter a PR stunt
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2019 5:15 PM CDT
Pay or Be Sued, Trump Letter Tells CNN
President Trump speaks to CNN journalist Jim Acosta during a news conference in 2018.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump's lawyers and reelection campaign have threatened CNN with a lawsuit for falsely calling itself a news organization. "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," USA Today reports the letter said. It included an offer for CNN to settle the false advertising claim by discussing a "substantial" payment for damages, per Reuters. "This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response," a CNN spokesman said.

A Harvard professor of false advertising law said the legal arguments in the letter had no merit. A lawyer who specializes in national security and transparency cases said "facts and legal reality have no relation" to the threatened lawsuit. Based on the legal case made in the letter, he said, such a suit would not succeed. "Trump suing CNN isn't about winning in court," the lawyer said. "It's about appealing to his base with a PR stunt." Charles Harder, the Trump lawyer who sent the letter, has similarly threatened other media organizations in the past. (More CNN stories.)

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