Tensions between CNN and President Trump escalated Friday with the Trump reelection campaign threatening a lawsuit.
An attorney representing the president sent a four-page letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker alleging “highly biased” coverage of Trump.
“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,” Trump attorney Charles Harder wrote in the letter, which a campaign exec posted on Twitter.
— Michael Glassner (@michaelglassner) October 18, 2019
Harder mentioned CNN employees recorded in hidden camera video by Project Veritas, and alleged the footage shows Zucker has a “personal vendetta” against Trump.
“Your own employees appear to state that CNN is focused on trying to ‘take down President Trump,’ driven by a ‘personal vendetta’ that Mr. Zucker purportedly has against him, rather than reporting the news in an objective manner,” the letter says.
“In the footage, your employees appear to state that CNN attempts to make its reporting appear neutral and unbiased, when in fact its reporting is far from neutral and highly biased against the President,” Harder adds.
He goes on to say his clients “intend to file legal action against you, to seek compensatory damages, treble damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, reimbursement of legal costs, and all other available legal and equitable remedies, to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
Harder additionally alleges that CNN is violating the Lanham Act — a trademark law enacted in the 1940s — by allegedly misrepresenting the news.
CNN immediately dismissed the letter and called it a “stunt.”
“This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response,” Matt Dornic, a spokesman for the cable news network, said in a statement to the media.
CNN and the Trump administration have sparred in the past, with the network going to court when the administration attempted to take away White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.