Trump urges Pulitzer Prize Board to cancel awards to NYT, WaPo

Former President Donald Trump is calling on the Pulitzer Prize Board to cancel awards given in 2018 to staff in New York Times and Washington Post for their reporting, which fueled the scam that the Trump campaign had collaborated with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.

In a letter dated September 30, but released Tuesday afternoon, Trump wrote to Pulitzer Prize-winning temporary administration Bud Kliment:

I urge the Pulitzer Prize Board to immediately withdraw the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting 2018, awarded to the staff of the New York Times and Washington Post, which was based on false reporting of a non-existent link between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. As has been widely publicized, the cover was nothing more than a politically motivated farce trying to spin a false narrative that my campaign had allegedly collaborated with Russia despite a complete lack of evidence to support this claim.

Trump added: “For two years, these institutions feverishly pushed one Russia story after another and – despite lacking credible evidence – tried to convince the public that my campaign had cooperated with the Russian government.”

Protesters hold up signs near a US President Donald Trump puppet during a meeting calling for accountability for the Trump campaign’s alleged cooperation with the Russian government in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on July 11, 2017. (Photo credit must be read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP / Getty Images)

He urged the news media to voluntarily give away their awards, but if not, he expected the board to act.

“For over a century, the Pulitzer Prize has been widely recognized as a significant achievement in journalism.… When it becomes clear that a Pulitzer Prize-winning work was based on sloppy, dubious and blatantly false reporting – as is the case here – The Pulitzer Prize board will respond accordingly, “he wrote.

Trump’s letter was attached to another letter from a lawyer representing him, dated November 15. His lawyer’s letter also demanded that the board deprive both papers of their premiums or face “prompt legal action”. The lawyer, Alina Habba, wrote:

In light of the above, the Pulitzer Prize Board is hereby required to take immediate steps to deprive the New York Times and The Washington Post of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. Failure by the Pulitzer Prize Board to do so will result in immediate legal action being taken against it. Please be guided accordingly.

Habba noted that sources in the business reports “are now facing criminal charges for their illegal conduct.”

Special Attorney John Durham recently indicted a third person who made false statements to the FBI to bolster allegations of collusion, Igor Danchenko.

Danchenko, revealed his indictment, lied to the FBI about the false information he provided to a dossier that provided a basis for a surveillance order against the Trump campaign and provided a roadmap for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign and the administration.

The indictment revealed that Danchenko provided information from a fictional source and from a PR employee who for a long time was Bill and Hillary Clinton associate Charles Dolan Jr.

President Donald Trump arrives on stage to speak at a campaign meeting at the BOK Center on Saturday, June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla.  Trump is asking Americans to let him keep his job.  His critics ask how much of the job he actually does.  These questions have been raised in recent days following revelations that Trump did not read at least two written intelligence briefings describing concerns that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans in Afghanistan.  (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump arrives on stage to speak at a campaign meeting at the BOK Center on Saturday, June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, OK. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

The revelations prompted Washington Post to pull and edit parts from about a dozen articles last week, where its editor-in-chief wrote, ” Post could no longer stand the accuracy of these elements in the story. “

Habba wrote:

Despite these revelations, the Pulitzer Prize Board has failed to take any action to correct, withdraw or otherwise reject the false reporting contained in the subject matter articles. Even one of the recipients of the award, The Washington Post, has acknowledged the unfounded nature of its reporting when it relates to these events. On November 12, 2021, The Post withdrew statements from several articles on the Steele Dossier and the alleged Russia-Trump connection, and its editor-in-chief proclaimed that “The Post could no longer stand by the accuracy of these elements in the story.

The lawyer noted that Post has also called on CNN to withdraw its reporting as well, adding that this is not the reason why “many people distrust CNN.”

Meanwhile, Habba wrote, the Pulitzer Prize website still maintains that the articles were “deeply retrieved” and still refers to “Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its links to the Trump campaign, the elected president’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

“By failing to remove these statements, revoke the award, or even publicly comment on the illegitimate nature of the works, the Pulitzer Prize Board actively promotes the false narrative contained therein and promotes defamatory statements against our client,” she wrote.

She warned the Pulitzer Prize Board that it is under a legal obligation to store and not destroy relevant documents or information.

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