Donald Trump is still very angry over misreporting of the financial losses of his Twitter clone, Truth Social, and in a new lawsuit filed Monday, the ex-president claimed that the reports were actually a vast media conspiracy involving “not less than 20 major media outlets. electrical outlets.”
The lawsuit follows reports this month that Truth had lost $73 million in 2023. That figure turned out to be incorrect; the company actually lost $31 million.
It is unclear how the error occurred. The initial $73 million figure was attributed to a securities filing by Digital World Acquisition Corp, which is attempting to merge with Truth Social. The next day, everyone reports
The lawsuit, filed in Sarasota County, Florida, on behalf of the Trump Media & Technology Group, names several major media outlets as plaintiffs, as well as more financial, political and left-leaning websites. Among them are MSNBC, Newsweek, CNBC, Reuters, The Daily Beast, the Miami Herald and its editor-in-chief Alex Mena, Mediatie, The Hill, The New York Daily News, the Daily Mail, Axios, The Hollywood Reporter, Salon, Deadline , Miami Herald and.
The lawsuit alleges that the $73 million figure “was a complete fabrication.” Each defendant, in apparent coordination, reported the exact same fake number within approximately 24 hours of each other, each citing a public Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filing, in which the mysterious loss of $73 million appears nowhere.
The lawsuit claims it was a “coordinated effort” to damage the reputation of the Trump Media & Technology Group and “torpedo” the merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp.
As evidence of this alleged conspiracy, the lawsuit primarily cites the existence of journalism. The suit points out the similarity of the headlines about the losses and the fact that articles about them were updated and corrected, but not removed.
The lawsuit alleges defamation and harmful falsehoods (defined as when lies are deployed specifically to cause harm). Trump is demanding a jury trial and seeking a $1.5 billion punitive payment, a silence forcing the removal of all articles about the losses and other unspecified damages.
On its face, the lawsuit could conflict with Florida’s anti-SLAPP laws, which, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, “prohibit suits brought against individuals who exercise their right to freedom of the press.” expression in relation to a public matter or their right to peaceably assemble. This law expressly defines “freedom of expression” to include journalism.
But, even if TMTG justifies filing suit in Florida on the grounds that the state is “where they do business,” it is undoubtedly reminiscent of the lawsuit filed against Gawker Media by Terry Bollea – better known as of wrestler Hulk Hogan – who ended up destroying that company in 2016. The judgment in this case was also made by a jury.
But Gawker wasn’t destroyed just because it lost the original lawsuit. Florida law allows judges to require that anyone wishing to appeal a lawsuit judgment deposit the entire amount of damages awarded into an escrow account before they can appeal. Gawker’s owners were unable to raise the $150 million awarded to Bollea and were forced to declare bankruptcy and sell the company’s assets.
It’s unclear whether Trump is seeking to destroy his perceived media enemies in the same way that billionaire investor Peter Thiel allegedly did by funding Bollea’s trial. But doing so over misreporting of financial records is likely to be more difficult than for the nonconsensual sex tape at the center of the Gawker lawsuit.
You can download a copy of the full lawsuit here.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
The article Trump sues MSNBC, Reuters and 18 other news organizations, claiming they “coordinated” in falsely reporting $73 million in welfare losses appeared first on TheWrap.
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