Trump: CNN Should Have to 'Prove the Big Lie'

Ex-president says network will 'never be able to prove' his claims on election fraud are false
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2022 8:35 AM CDT
Trump: CNN Should Have to 'Prove the Big Lie'
Former President Donald Trump tosses caps to the crowd as he holds a rally on Sept. 23 in Wilmington, NC.   (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

Former President Trump filed a defamation suit against CNN this week, accusing it of trying to smear him "for the purpose of defeating him politically." Now, Trump has issued the cable network a challenge. "Prove the big lie," Trump said Wednesday during an appearance on "Just the News: Not Noise," on the Real America's Voice network, per the Hill. "The big lie is not a big lie at all. The big lie is the opposite." The "big lie" Trump was referring to is the term the network and others have applied to his continuing false claim that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread fraud. It's an accusation against him that CNN "will never be able to prove" in court, Trump told RAV hosts John Solomon and Amanda Head. "All the stats—we have everything," he said. Trump then added of the alleged trove of proof: "Unfortunately, we haven't had judges that want to look at it. They don't want to change elections."

Trump's complaint notes that the term "big lie"—a phrase with Nazi connotations, per the AP—has been used on CNN against him more than 7,700 times since January 2021. Trump's claims about the supposed rampant fraud that took place at the 2020 polls have consistently been refuted, notably by an AP investigation in December that found fewer than 475 instances of mostly individual fraud in six battleground states—"a number that would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election," the AP noted at the time. "The cases could not throw the outcome into question even if all the potentially fraudulent votes were for Biden, which they were not, and even if those ballots were actually counted, which in most cases they were not," the news agency points out.

Others who've denounced Trump's claims: various federal and local election officials (both Democrats and Republicans), top ex-campaign staffers, multiple courts, and even Bill Barr, who served as Trump's attorney general. As for Trump's defamation suit, legal experts see a tough road ahead for Trump: Because he's a public figure, he'd have to prove CNN "made false remarks about [him] that were presented as fact, and that the network had knowledge of the false remarks or a reckless disregard for the truth," per the Washington Post. "I see no false statements of fact that were made with actual malice," Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Marymount University law professor who reviewed the suit, tells the paper. (More Donald Trump stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.