Politics Trump wins dismissal of suit over nasty tweets

23:05  10 january  2017
23:05  10 january  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

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A New York judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday brought by a GOP political consultant who says her business was harmed by a series of tweets and on-air appearances by Donald Trump and his campaign.

Cheri Jacobus, a longtime political consultant who offered her services to Trump and went on to comment on the campaign, filed the $4 million suit in April.

Judge Barbara Jaffe ruled that the “heated rhetoric” amid a “particularly raucous Republican primary” served as important context for the tweets that were demeaning, but did not rise to the level of defamation.

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In her 20-page ruling, Jaffe called Trump’s bombastic Twitter profile “rife with vague and simplistic insults such as ‘loser’ or ‘total loser’ or ‘totally biased loser,’ ‘dummy’ or ‘dope’ or ‘dumb,’ ‘zero/no credibility,’ ‘crazy’ or ‘wacko’ and ‘disaster,’ all deflecting serious consideration.”

On Feb. 5, Trump called Jacobus: “Major loser, zero credibility!”

The ruling will be appealed, said Jay Butterman, Jacobus’ attorney, who called it, “a sad day for free speech, a sad day for freedom of the press and sad day for democracy.”

“Today a court gave Trump a free pass to trample on the rights of free speech of any critic,” Butterman told USA TODAY. “What the court is doing is allowing defamation in the context of political speech—Trump can now eliminate his critics by dominating the media.”

Ultimately, Jaffe ruled Trump’s tweets veered into opinion and were not able to be measured as factual.

“Indeed, to some, truth itself has been lost in the cacophony of online and Twitter verbiage to such a degree that it seems to roll off the consciousness like water off a duck’s back,” Jaffe wrote.

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