Trump campaign sues NY Times for defamation over Putin

President Donald Trump in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. On Wednesday, the Trump campaign sued the NY Times for defamation. (Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

NEW YORK (AP) — The campaign to reelect President Donald Trump is suing The New York Times for defamation.

The campaign filed the lawsuit in state court in New York on Wednesday.

It said that the newspaper published an Op-Ed article by a former executive editor saying that the campaign made a deal with Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy to help defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The lawsuit says the Times knew it was publishing false information when it published the essay in March 2019 in its Opinion section, “but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign."

The lawsuit sought unspecified damages.

Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, said in a statement that the Trump campaign had turned to the courts to punish an opinion writer for having an opinion it found unacceptable.

“Fortunately, the law protects the right of Americans to express their judgments and conclusions ... we look forward to vindicating that right in this case,” Murphy said.

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