BRAND NEW ON E!
First he sues Bill Maher. Now Donald Trump is apparently going after the guy behind the "Dump Trump" campaign asking Macy's to sever ties with the business titan due to the Birther conspiracy theories the Apprentice star keeps peddling about President Barack Obama.
Angelo Carusone, who organized the online petition that's garnered a whopping 683,000 signatures from people demanding the retail giant fire Trump as a celebrity spokesman, says he received a cease and desist from The Donald's counsel threatening him with a $25 million lawsuit if he did not stop interfering in Trump's business and contractual relationships.
"Do not test Mr. Trump's resolve in protecting his professional name, reputation and business affairs," read the Dec. 27 letter from Trump's attorney, Alan Garten.
The legal eagle went on to accuse the petition's creator of "mob-like bullying and coercion" and "intentionally disseminated misinformation."
That's rich, if you ask Carusone.
"Donald Trump's attempt to silence me will not work. I've dealt with enough bullies and know better than to succumb to intimidation," he said in a statement. "By threatening me, Trump is only reinforcing the point that we've been trying to get Macy's to recognize: that Trump's brand is consequence-free bullying and chicanery; it shouldn't be rewarded."
Paul Levy, a free-speech attorney for nonprofit Public Citizen who represents Carusone, fired back with a letter of his own last month, defending his client.
"Your letter repeatedly asserts, without any factual basis, that Carusone has exaggerated the extent to which members of the public have endorsed his boycott effort; you also contend, again without being specific, that Carusone casts Trump in a false light," read Levy's missive.
Levy pointed out that that despite Garten promising in a conversation to send over a detailed "listing" regarding the supposed offenses that has Trump so up in arms, he had yet to receive it.
"There is a well-established First Amendment right to advocate a boycott over policy-related objections," he said, adding that if the real estate mogul could sue just because somebody disagrees his political statements, "most candidates for public office...[including Trump] would be liable at one point or another."
After Levy noted that Garten mentioned that Macy's was "itching" for Trump to file suit, Carusone encouraged the company to do the right thing and withdraw its support.
"Trump doesn't have credibility, so I don't put too much stock in the claim, but I really hope Macy's isn't encouraging these kinds of threats against its own customers," he said.