He supports Trump — but does that make him a terrorist?
Yet trauma surgeon Dr. Rafik Benaissa claims a Democratic super PAC labeled him as a terrorist online just because he wrote a $2,700 check to Trump’s presidential campaign.
The Keep America Great PAC, also known as the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, published a press release about him on Aug. 24 that was "riddled with lies and false statements of fact," he claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.
The release, titled “Gaddafi Tied to Top Trump Campaign Donor,” wrongly claimed Benaissa is a "major benefactor of the Trump campaign."
“The press release, in reckless disregard of the truth, falsely states that Dr. Benaissa conducted major business dealings with the regime of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more,” court papers say.
But the PAC’s position is “blatantly false,” Benaissa’s lawyer maintains.
“Dr. Benaissa never conducted business with Gaddafi or his regime, and never earned hundreds of millions of dollars,” argued Daniel Szalkiewicz.
“The statement was made with the sole intention of destroying Dr. Benaissa’s reputation, done with malice, and a total disregard for the truth,” he wrote.
The Democratic Coalition Against Trump said the allegations were bogus.
"Since we started this Super PAC, our mission has been to expose Donald Trump's lies, his improprieties and his ties to illicit business practices,” said Jarad Geldner, a senior adviser to the PAC who is also named as a defendant in the complaint.
“Our work to that end has relied entirely on previous reporting by well-respected journalists and publicly available information. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously against this frivolous lawsuit, and rest assured, it will not dissuade us from working to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.”
While the news release cites two news articles as supposed proof, the clips only say Benaissa, 54, “promoted U.S. and U.K. security products,” his lawyer says.
Benaissa’s brother is presently out on bail in Montreal for his alleged role in an international money laundering scheme and is accused of having ties to Gaddafi.
Szalkiewicz says his client has nothing to do with his brother's alleged dealings.
Still, the author of the alleged smear called Benaissa an “actual supporter of terrorist regimes," the Tunisia-born doctor claims.
The suit also slams the group as having conducted “blatant racial profiling.”
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