Donald Trump's re-election campaign has filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times, accusing America's newspaper of record of intentionally publishing a false story last year about Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
In the lawsuit, which the campaign annouced was filed in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday, the campaign alleges that the Times published a false story on 27 March 2019 claiming that Mr Trump and his campaign had engaged in a deal with the allies of Russian president Vladimir Putin to help his campaign in 2016 in exhange for a pro-Russia policy once Mr Trump became president.
It marks an escalation between Mr Trump and the news media, which he has often derided as "fake news" while complaining about critical coverage of his administartion that he often says is biased against him.
"Today the President's re-election campaign filed suit against the New York Times for falsely stating the Cmapaign had an 'overarching deal' with 'Vladimir Putin's oligarchy' to 'help the campaign against Hillary Clinton' in exchange for 'a new pro-Russian foreign policy starting with relief from ... economic sanctions,'" said Jenna Ellis, the senior legal aide to the presiden'ts re-election campaign, in a statement.
The lawsuit, which originates from the campaign and not the presdient himself, falls roughly in line with his past comments, including the characterisation of elements of the news media as "the enemy of the American people".