Kash Patel, the chief of staff for acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, has filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against CNN.
Fox News reported Patel alleged in a suit filed on Friday that CNN pushed “unfounded left-wing political narratives” about him beginning in November. A number of CNN reporters are listed as defendants in the civil action.
Fox reported the lawsuit lays out a number of specific examples of defamation from the liberal network. One of those concerned CNN’s summarizing Patel as a conspiracy theorist who was motivated only by personal loyalty to President Donald Trump as he worked to lead a Defense Department transition to a presumptive Joe Biden administration.
The suit states that CNN published numerous web articles from Nov. 24 to Dec. 4 that “contain a series of false and defamatory statements” about Patel.
An example of alleged defamation provided in the filing included a CNN story which claimed, “Trump loyalist connected to Biden conspiracy theories is leading Pentagon transition.”
Another CNN story cited in the complaint reads, “Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist, … was connected to efforts to spread conspiracy theories about Joe Biden.”
Meanwhile, another CNN story cited as evidence of defamation claimed Patel “has also worked to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” while another report claimed, “Pentagon blocked Biden’s intelligence transition team from meeting with agencies.”
One other CNN report cited by Patel’s lawsuit particularly painted Patel in a negative light. That story stated, “Defense Department transition office … is led by a Trump loyalist connected to efforts to spread conspiracy theories about the President-elect.”
Patel’s attorney, Steven S. Biss, excoriated CNN in a filing obtained by Fox.
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“The Defendants fabricated the Defamatory Statements and knew, therefore, that the statements were false. They knew that Kash was not the source of a single conspiracy theory and had no connection to any conspiracy theory about Biden,” the attorney stated.
“Defendants provide no evidence or example of any stories spread by Kash about Biden because there are none. CNN reported on the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and read the Democrats’ report, and knew, therefore, that no evidence was uncovered connecting Kash,” Biss added.
The attorney further claimed CNN and its reporters “harbored extreme professional and personal animus, bias, spite and ill-will towards Kash as a result of Kash’s revelations of CNN’s corrupt business practices and deceitful misreporting.”
“Because of this malice and desire to injure Kash, Defendants knowingly and recklessly ignored the probable falsity of the story and printed it.”
“CNN attacked Kash and published defamatory falsehoods about him because CNN was deeply invested in promoting the Russia collusion hoax and the fraudulent ‘dossier’ manufactured by Fusion GPS for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee,” Bliss stated.
“Kash debunked CNN’s reporting … CNN’s latest brutal attack on Kash’s reputation in the Articles is a continuation of past smear campaigns to discredit Kash.”
The lawsuit, which lists CNN reporters Barbara Starr, Zachary Cohen, Ryan Browne, Alex Marquardt and Nicole Gaouette as defendants, was filed in a federal court in Virginia.
As for CNN’s role in the alleged defamation, Patel’s suit claims the network “deliberately or recklessly conveyed a false message” and was motivated to discredit or humiliate the Trump administration official.
Patel joined Miller’s staff last month after Trump fired a number of high-profile officials at the Pentagon, Politico reported. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was among those whose employment was terminated by the president.
Esper was fired by Trump in a Nov. 9 tweet.
CNN has not yet commented on Patel’s lawsuit.