“Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called ‘mainstream’ news, as the current situation,” a letter sent by attorney Charles J. Harder and addressed to CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and CNN general counsel David Viglante said.
The letter, obtained by Fox News on Friday, asks CNN to contact Harder “to discuss an appropriate resolution of this matter,” which would include “a substantial payment of damages” and other “appropriate measures that are necessary to fully address the magnitude of the situation.”
A CNN spokesperson told Fox News the letter was "nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn't merit a response.”
Harder said that CNN has violated the Lanham Act, which governs trademarks, by billing itself as “journalists,” “truth seekers” and “united by a mission to inform, engage and empower the world” while unfairly covering the president. The letter also claims that CNN has violated the Society for Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics by failing to cover the president in an honest and accurate manner.
The letter points to a recent batch of secretly recorded video published by Project Veritas, which claim to feature low-level CNN staffers dishing on liberal bias at the network and Zucker ordering producers to ditch an “important story” for negative coverage of Trump.
The newly released footage, which has not been independently confirmed by Fox News, features now-former CNN employee Cary Poarch secretly filming staffers and recording the network’s morning editorial meeting. Earlier this week Trump hinted at possible legal action against CNN on Twitter as a result of the footage.
“Your own employees appear to state that CNN is focused on trying to ‘take down President Trump,’ driven by a “personal vendetta” that Mr. Zucker purportedly has against him, rather than reporting the news in an objective manner,” Harder wrote. “In the Footage, your employees appear to state that CNN attempts to make its reporting appear neutral and unbiased, when in fact its reporting is far from neutral and highly biased against the President.”
Trump’s legal team then listed a series of comments that CNN employees made on the secretly recorded tapes that Harder calls “the tip of the iceberg of the evidence” proving the network isn’t fair to Trump.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.