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Trump Melts Down After Pulitzer Prize Committee Won't Rescind Awards For Russian Collusion Reporting

Trump Melts Down After Pulitzer Prize Committee Won't Rescind Awards For Russian Collusion Reporting
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump lashed out at the Pulitzer Prize Board, accusing it of "running cover" for not acquiesing to his demand it revoke Pulitzers awarded to The New York Times and The Washington Post for their coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 general election and its connection to Trump, his campaign and associates.

The Pulitzer Board said after conducting a review that "no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes."

The announcement angered Trump, who vowed he would “continue doing everything possible to right the wrong caused by the 2018 Pulitzer Prize" and pledged to do the same to the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection, which took place when a mob of White nationalist lead Trump's supporters attacked the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

In a statement, Trump said the Pulitzer Board "has taken away any shred of credibility it had left with its ‘response’ regarding the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting" and labeled the reporting by The New York Times and The Washington Post "fake news."

He added the Pulitzer Board awarded publications that entertained a "hoax"—his favorite word to describe the investigation into Russian inteference in the electoral process.

“Instead of acting with integrity and providing transparency, the Pulitzer Board is running cover for the biggest reporting failure in modern history: the fake Russia Russia Russia collusion hoax."
“The truth is that the 2018 Pulitzer Prize was handed out for reporting that merely parroted political disinformation—disinformation that we know was fabricated by foreign operatives and my political opponents."
"If the Pulitzer Prize has become a blatant acknowledgement of false, liberal political propaganda, then the Pulitzer Board should just say so."

Trump's beef with the Pulitzer Board dates back to 2018, though he last sent a letter in October 2021, three years after the prizes were awarded, insisting the stories were based on "false reporting" and a "complete lack of evidence."

In a letter addressed to Bud Kliment, the interim administrator of the awards, Trump claimed he's been the target of a smear campaign.

"As has been widely publicized, the coverage was no more than a politically motivated farce which attempted to spin a false narrative that my campaign supposedly colluded with Russia despite a complete lack of evidence underpinning this allegation."

Trump went on to describe the New York Times and Washington Post coverage of his Russian ties as little more than a "debunked Russian collusion conspiracy theory."

Trump has been harshly criticized.

Trump has continuously dismissed the assessment from U.S. intelligence it was confident Russia was behind the hacks of internal records at the Democratic and Republican National Committees and has suggested the conclusion of Russian interference was politically motivated.

However, then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was quite damning.

While the report did not find sufficient evidence the campaign "coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities" to level its own charges, it stated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was illegal and the Trump campaign welcomed and encouraged these efforts.

The report also found Trump tried many times to obstruct the investigation, but his associates often "refused to carry out his orders."