Donald Trump has made it clear from the beginning that he was highly offended that news media reported on Russian interference in the 2016 election, his meetings with Russian officials, and the investigation into whether his campaign deliberately and inappropriately coordinated with Russia to interfere in the outcome. Now, he’s demanding that two major news organizations have their Pulitzer prizes stripped from them.
In 2018, the Washington Post and New York Times were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”
Last month, attorney Michael Sussman was charged with a single count of lying to the FBI, when he reported one potential incident of cooperation between Trump and Russia and allegedly denied acting in the interests of a client, though he was working for Hillary Clinton at the time. His attorneys, according to Politico, argue that he never made that statement, and that his employment doesn’t affect the facts he reported or the outcome of the FBI’s investigation.
Still, Trump and his fan base have seized on the charge as though it negates everything Robert Mueller’s investigation found, and he is calling for a revokal of the Pulitzer Prizes awarded to major news organizations for their coverage.
President Donald J. Trump's Letter to the Pulitzer Prizes pic.twitter.com/tJlOwf6GdU
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 3, 2021
“I call on the Pulitzer Prize board to immediately rescind the 2018 Pulitzer Prize awarded to the staffs of the New York Times and the Washington Post,” Trump begins, going on to allege that it was “based on false reporting of a non-existent link between the Kremlin and the Trump Campaign.”
He complains (again) that the reports relied on anonymous sources, and falsely claims that there was no evidence, and that he has been exonerated. (Mueller has been very clear that his investigation and final report did not in any way exonerate Donald Trump or his campaign, despite Trump’s previous false assertions thereof.)
He cites the aforementioned charge against Sussman as further proof of his innocence, though the FBI has affirmed that this did not affect the outcome of their investigation, and reiterates his demand that the Washington Post and New York Times should have their Pulitzer awards revoked.
It’s not an entirely new attack from the former president. USA Today reported in 2018, after Bill Barr, then the Attorney General, misrepresented the findings of the Mueller investigation, telling the public that the investigation found no cooperation between the Trump Campaign and Russia, despite the many such incidences laid out in the report, that Trump made the same demand then. He declared the reporting “fake” and called for revokal of the awards.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com