Trump social media company sues The Washington Post for $3 billion
Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), the digital firm helmed by former President Donald Trump, has initiated a $3.78 billion defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post.
The complaint alleges the media house published a damaging article that levied securities fraud charges against the company, as reported by the Daily Wire.
The lawsuit, filed in a Sarasota County, Florida, state courthouse, holds that the published piece inflicted an "enormous" financial loss, threatening the existence of its social media platform, Truth Social.
Trump initiated Truth Social as a refuge for conservative users who claimed they were censored and discriminated against on other platforms due to their political beliefs.
An October 2022 Report and Role of Will Wilkerson
The litigation hinges on an October 2022 report in The Post, which suggested TMTG contravened security laws and Trump coerced executives to apportion shares to his wife.
The report cited internal documents provided by Will Wilkerson, an original TMTG employee. TMTG alleges in the lawsuit that Wilkerson approached The Post, aware of their inclination to publish false reports about the company, its CEO, Devin Nunes, and Trump.
Allegations of Persistent Campaign and Clickbait Headlines by The Washington Post
The litigation lodged by TMTG alleges that The Washington Post, abbreviated in the suit as 'WaPo', engaged in a persistent campaign against the company, characterized by withholding crucial information.
The lawsuit criticizes this as bitterly ironic for a news publication whose slogan is 'Democracy Dies in Darkness', Fox News reported.
Specifically, the lawsuit cites an article titled "Trust linked to the porn-friendly bank could gain a stake in Trump's Truth Social," published online on May 13, 2023. It accuses The Post of falsely suggesting through a "clickbait headline" that TMTG was involved in suspicious business transactions.
Unsettling Allegations Against TMTG and Trump's Rebuttal
The article unleashed a series of accusations involving a bank located in the Caribbean islands that reportedly extended $8 million in loans to TMTG.
The published piece stated, "[TMTG] borrowed money from a bank best known for servicing the adult entertainment, pledged a stake in the company for the loan, and didn't tell the SEC."
The lawsuit counters these allegations, asserting that The Post issued nine false claims and widely propagated this misinformation among its 2.5 million subscribers and 20 million Twitter followers. It also alleged that The Post recruited agents from within and outside the company to disseminate the defamation further.
Washington Post Declines to Comment
Owned by Amazon's billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post declined to comment on the pending lawsuit. "We are not commenting on pending litigation," a spokesperson from the Washington Post conveyed to Fox News Digital.
The suit alleges that the Post led its readers to perceive TMTG executives as potential criminals and depicted the company as a haven of corporate impropriety.
Claims of Malice and Irresponsible Reporting by The Washington Post
The lawsuit implies that The Post's accusations were not made in good faith and were not the result of factual mistakes, suggesting there was no reasonable foundation for believing the statements were accurate. TMTG accuses The Post of acting "with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth" and seeks compensatory and punitive damages amounting to $3.78 billion.
This suit is the latest addition to a series of defamation lawsuits launched by Mr. Trump, his political campaign entities, and businesses in recent years. In March 2020, Trump's campaign filed a defamation complaint against The Post concerning two pieces related to Robert Mueller's investigation into potential Russian collusion and Trump's campaign strategies, the Independent reported.
In October 2022, Donald Trump initiated a $475 million lawsuit against CNN in a Florida court, claiming he had been unjustly depicted "through an escalating array of false and defamatory tags."