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Donald Trump Sues ABC News And George Stephanopoulos Over Comments During Nancy Mace Interview

Former President Donald Trump has again filed a defamation lawsuit against a major media outlet, this time over comments that ABC NewsGeorge Stephanopoulos made during a contentious recent interview with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC).

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, claims that Stephanopoulos defamed him during his questioning of Mace during an interview on This Week.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos played a video in which Mace said that she was a victim of rape. He first asked Mace, “You endorsed Donald Trump for president. Judges and two separate juries have found him liable for rape and for defaming the victim of that rape. How do you square your endorsement of Donald Trump with the testimony that we just saw?”

Mace said to Stephanopoulos, “I’ve lived for 30 years with an incredible amount of shame over being raped. I didn’t come forward because of that judgment and shame that I felt. And it is a shame that you will never feel, George. And I am not going to sit here on your show and be asked a question meant to shame me about another potential rape victim.”

Stephanopoulos continued to question Mace on the point, while denying that he was attempting to shame her.

Mace said, “He defended himself over that and denies that it ever happened, but he was not found guilty in a criminal court of law.”

Last year, a jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll in a civil case. The jury did not find Trump liable for rape. But the judge in the case, Lewis Kaplan, wrote later, “The finding that Ms.Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape.’ Indeed, as the evidence at trial recounted below makes clear, the jury found that Mr. Trump in fact did exactly that.” Kaplan made the point in deny Trump’s motion for a new trial on damages.

A jury this year awarded Carroll $83.3 million in damages. That followed another jury’s award of $5 million in damages to her in an earlier phase of the case. Trump has denied her claims and is appealing the verdicts.

According to the lawsuit, Trump’s team contacted ABC News after the Mace interview, asking for a retraction and apology, but they did not. They did modify a headline of a related article that removed the reference to “rape” to “sexual assault,” according to the lawsuit. The litigation also cited more than 10 instances when Stephanopoulos said that Trump was found “liable for rape” or “was found to have committed rape.”

A spokesperson for the network said, “ABC News has no comment.”

The lawsuit, which names the network and Stephanopoulos as defendants, claims that the anchor’s statements were “false, intentional, malicious and designed to cause harm.”

Carroll’s attorney, meanwhile, has said her client may file a new lawsuit against Trump as he has continued to attack her.

The lawsuit is Trump’s latest against a major media outlet. He has sued CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times in recent years, but those lawsuits have been dismissed.

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