Trump says he didn't defame accuser Summer Zervos and was only using 'fiery rhetoric' to attack her
Former "Apprentice" contest and Trump accuser Summer Zervos (left) and President Donald Trump (right). Images via Shutterstock.

Former President Donald Trump unveiled a new argument Wednesday to defend himself against a nearly five-year-old defamation lawsuit from former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.

In a court filing, Trump claimed that he was merely engaging in "fiery rhetoric" when he called Zervos a liar after she accused him of sexually assaulting her, Bloomberg reports.

"Trump said the defamation lawsuit filed against him by Summer Zervos was doomed to fail because he was simply using hyperbole to deny her allegation," the site reports. "He made the argument in a filing on Wednesday in New York state court in Manhattan, where he's seeking a judge's approval to amend his response to her 2017 suit and file a counterclaim."

Last week, Zervos filed a motion accusing Trump of making a "last-ditch" effort to avoid being deposed in the case, before a Dec 23 deadline.

In his response, Trump denied he was engaging in stall tactics.

"This argument is patently absurd, disingenuous, and entirely unfounded," Trump lawyer Alina Habba wrote.

Trump managed to delay Zervos' lawsuit while he was in office, by arguing that a sitting president can't be sued in state court.

Although a New York trial judge rejected Trump's argument, the state's highest court waited until March of this year to dismiss his appeal, after he left office and his argument became moot.

"(Trump) is counterclaiming that Zervos's suit was filed in bad faith with the intent to chill public discourse in violation of New York law," Bloomberg reports. "According to Trump, she intentionally 'solicited' the allegedly defamatory statements by accusing him of assault and waiting for him to deny it."