The former US president says CNN has a long track record of criticising him but has ramped up its attacks in recent months because the network feared that he would run again for president in 2024.

Trump, who in 2020 lost a re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, has not said whether he would seek re-election.
Trump, who in 2020 lost a re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, has not said whether he would seek re-election. (AP Archive)

Former US president Donald Trump has sued CNN for defamation, seeking $475 million in punitive damages and claiming the network has carried out a "campaign of libel and slander" against him.

Trump claims in his lawsuit — filed in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Monday — that CNN had used its considerable influence as a leading news organisation to defeat him politically. 

The Republican says in the 29-page lawsuit that CNN had a long track record of criticising him but had ramped up its attacks in recent months because the network feared that he would run again for president in 2024.

"As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of 'racist,' 'Russian lackey,' 'insurrectionist,' and ultimately 'Hitler,'" the lawsuit claims.

CNN declined to comment on the case.

READ MORE: US judge rejects delaying Trump Organization's tax fraud trial

Trump threatens of more lawsuits

The lawsuit lists several instances in which CNN appeared to compare Trump to Hitler, including a January 2022 special report by host Fareed Zakaria that included footage of the German dictator.

Trump, who in 2020 lost a re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, has not said whether he would seek re-election.

In a statement, the former president said he would be filing lawsuits against other major media companies "in the coming weeks and months," and that he could even take action against a congressional committee probing the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.

The lawsuit comes as the 76-year-old former president faces considerable legal woes, including a criminal investigation by the US Justice Department for retaining government records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office in January 2021.

Trump was sued last month by New York state Attorney General Leticia James, who has accused him of lying to banks and insurers over the value of his assets.

READ MORE: Poll shows a divided states of America with Trump's MAGA seen as threat

Source: Reuters