President Donald Trump's libel lawsuit against CNN was dismissed by a federal judge, Deadline reported on Thursday.
Trump filed the suit after website contributor Larry Noble penned a column after the release of new details about Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The piece stated, “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.”
Trump's lawyers alleged that CNN published the column maliciously, knowing that it was false. It was a high legal threshold to meet and it ultimately didn't work out in the end.
But according to U.S. District Judge Michael L. Brown, the Trump lawyers failed to sufficiently allege that the network maliciously published the column.
In his opinion, Judge Brown wrote that “most of the allegations in the complaint regarding actual malice are conclusory. Plaintiff, for example, alleges in a purely conclusory manner that Defendants ‘clearly had a malicious motive’ and ‘knowingly disregarded all . . . information when it published the Defamatory Article.'”
He did give the Trump team an option to refile the complaint with concrete examples of malice. CNN argued that the column was Noble's opinion and posted as such, but the judge didn't agree with that either, saying that the assertion was stated as if it was a fact.