A Kremlin-connected billionaire has sued the Associated Press (AP) for defamation and libel over a report on his business ties to U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.
In the federal lawsuit filed at a Washington court on May 15, aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska said AP's March story about his connections with Paul Manafort falsely accused him of criminal activity.
The news organization says it stands by its story.
The AP report said that, while working for Deripaska several years ago, Manafort proposed a plan aimed at influencing politics, business dealings, and news coverage across the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union in ways that would favor Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After the story was published, Deripaska purchased advertisements in U.S. newspapers accusing the AP of generating a "massive and misleading campaign" against him.
Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign chairman in August 2016 following allegations that he received illicit funds from a Ukrainian political party.