Former President Donald Trump has filed a nearly $50 million lawsuit against journalist Bob Woodward, claiming that Woodward wrongly released audio tapes of interviews he did with Trump for a book.
Between December 2019 and July 2020, Woodward interviewed Trump for his book, “Rage.” The lawsuit admitted Trump consented to the interviews but says there was a condition — that they were only to be used to help Woodward accurately capture what Trump said when he wrote the book.
Trump insists the deal was broken when, last year, Woodward released “The Trump Tapes: Bob Woodward’s Twenty Interviews with President Donald Trump,” according to NBC.
“I am continuing my fight against the corrupt, dishonest, and deranged Fake News Media by filing this lawsuit against a man whose image is far different from the fact, Bob Woodward, his publisher Simon & Schuster, and their parent company, Paramount Global, for misappropriating, manipulating, and wrongfully profiting from my Voice,” Trump posted on his Truth Social network.
“Woodward and his corporate bosses not only tried to profiteer from doctoring tapes, which were only to be used for the ‘written word,’ namely help in accuracy for his book. This was an open and blatant attempt to make me look as bad as possible. They have instead been exposed for the liars and forgers that they are. I will always champion TRUTH and battle against the evil forces of disinformation and Fake News!” Trump wrote.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, alleged that Woodward said one thing and did another.
“When it came to treating President Trump fairly, Mr. Woodward talked the talk, but he failed to walk the walk,” the lawsuit said.
“This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump gathered in connection with a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Woodward,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said there were times when Trump was recorded without knowing about it.
“Notably, the Interviews reflect that Woodward was prone to exercising his own discretion in recording President Trump, despite the foregoing limitations instituted by President Trump regarding recording. For instance, several minutes into Interview 8, Woodward says ‘I’m going to turn on my recorder,’ failing to tell President Trump that the recording had already begun,” the lawsuit said.
The former president is suing the Washington Post reporter after he released their interviews as an audiobook entiled “The Trump Tapes.” https://t.co/b6QXbwy9zj
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 31, 2023
The lawsuit also charged that the audio files were selectively edited, noting one instance in which a quote from Trump concerning a statement made by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California was omitted while material before and after it was used.
“Far from being a ‘raw’ and unedited recording, it seems that extreme license was taken with the responses provided by President Trump in which he has a copyright interest, and the answers were manipulated to alter President Trump’s language as well as to support the particular narrative desired by Woodward,” the lawsuit said.
The suit said Woodward and the publisher “deviated from industry standard practices, did not obtain the requisite releases, misappropriated President Trump’s copyright interests, manipulated the recordings to benefit Woodward’s desired narrative.”
At its core, the lawsuit said that Woodward, Simon & Schuster and Paramount, the corporation that owns the publishing house, made money by using Trump’s voice without Trump having given them consent to do so. To that end, Trump wants damages that equate to 2 million copies of the audio tapes sold at $24.99 each, amounting to $49,980,000. Trump also wants a jury trial.
Woodward and Simon & Schuster responded in a statement, according to NBC.
“Former President Trump’s lawsuit is without merit, and we will aggressively defend against it. All these interviews were on the record and recorded with President Trump’s knowledge and agreement. Moreover, it is in the public interest to have this historical record in Trump’s own words. We are confident that the facts and the law are in our favor,” the statement said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.