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'We welcome the opportunity' for courtroom battle: NYT dismisses Trump threat

Donald Trump is going to war against The New York Times, and the newspaper is refusing to roll over.

A lawyer representing Trump threatened legal action against the newspaper for its Wednesday article about two women alleging that Trump inappropriately touched them. In response, a legal representative for the Times said the article could not have damaged the GOP nominee's reputation any more than he had already done himself.

"The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one's reputation," the Times' David McCraw wrote in a letter to Trump's lawyer. "Mr. Trump has bragged about this non-consensual sexual touching of women. He has bragged about intruding on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms. He acquiesced to a radio host's request to discuss Mr. Trump's own daughter as a 'piece of a--.' Multiple women not mentioned in our article have publicly come forward to report on Mr. Trump's unwanted advances. Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself."

Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz had asked that the Times "immediately cease any further publication of this article, remove it from your website and issue a full and immediate retraction and apology."

"Failure to do so will leave my client with no option but to pursue all available actions and remedies," Kasowitz added.

The Times story, "Two Women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately," details claims that Trump touched one woman on a plane more than three decades ago and another in an elevator in 2005. NBC News has not confirmed the allegations.

Trump vociferously denied those allegations, calling them "totally and absolutely false."

McCraw said the Times reporters "diligently worked to confirm the women's accounts."

But in a Thursday afternoon speech, Trump made clear he was gunning for the Times, characterizing the newspaper as desperate and untruthful.

"The New York Times is fighting desperately for its relevance and its financial survival and it probably won't be around in a few years based on its financial outlook, which wouldn't be a bad thing if you want to know the truth," he said. "But as it winds down its years and it's becoming more and more problematic, it's gotten more and more vicious, more and more vile."

Here's the full text of the letter Trump's lawyer sent to The New York Times:

And here's the Times response: