A federal judge on Thursday dismissed the Trump campaign’s defamation lawsuit against CNN for “failing sufficiently to plead malice.”
The lawsuit, first filed in March, took issue with an opinion piece published last year on CNN with the headline, “Soliciting dirt on your opponents from a foreign government is a crime. Mueller should have charged Trump campaign officials with it.” The Trump campaign argued that one sentence — which suggested that the Trump campaign “assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table” — defamed the campaign.
But in a decision filed on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael Brown found that the op-ed’s author, Larry Noble, did not publish “false facts in reckless disregard of the truth.”
“The prior articles mentioned in the complaint simply do not show or suggest Mr. Noble ‘was aware of the true facts’ regarding the Statement and published false facts in reckless disregard of the truth. For these reasons, Plaintiff did not adequately plead that the Statement was published with actual malice,” Brown wrote.
The Trump campaign will still be able to file an amended complaint, should they wish to do so.
A representative for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The suit against CNN was just one of many that the Trump campaign had filed against other major news organizations — including the Washington Post and the New York Times — over opinion pieces earlier this year.