A federal judge slapped down a more than $400 million (£311 million) defamation lawsuit brought by former US President Donald Trump against CNN for the network’s use of the phrase “the Big Lie” when referring to Trump’s numerous false claims about the 2020 election.
Judge Raag Singhal ― a Trump-appointed judge ― dismissed Trump’s $475 million (£375 million) lawsuit against CNN on Friday, ruling that the network’s writers and television anchors that referred to Trump’s numerous election lies as “the Big Lie” was opinion and did not amount to defamation.
In his lawsuit, Trump claimed the network’s use of the phrase likened him to Adolf Hitler because “the Big Lie” has been used to describe lies told by the Nazis to justify the horrors of the Holocaust.
“Being ‘Hitler-like’ is not a verifiable statement of fact that would support a defamation claim,” Singhal wrote in his dismissal. “CNN’s statements, while repugnant, were not, as a matter of law, defamatory.”
Singhal, who was appointed by Trump in 2019, said CNN anchors and writers who used the phrase “the Big Lie” were expressing an opinion and “alleged no false statement of fact.”
“Trump complains that CNN described his election challenges as ‘the Big Lie.’ Trump argues that ‘the Big Lie’ is a phrase attributed to Joseph Goebbels and that CNN’s use of the phrase wrongly links Trump with the Hitler regime in the public eye,” the motion to dismiss reads. “This is a stacking of inferences that cannot support a finding of falsehood.”