Donald Trump announced at his Texas rally Saturday that he is going to “sue” within two weeks to snatch away Pulitzer Prizes from The Washington Post and The New York Times for coverage of the Kremlin’s interference in America’s 2016 presidential election.
“Within the next two weeks, we’re suing the Pulitzer organization to have those prizes taken back,” Trump crowed at a rally in Robstown, where he stumped for MAGA candidates.
Trump first threatened to sue over the awards in June. But in July the Pulitzer board rejected his repeated demands to revoke the 2018 national reporting awards given to the two newspapers, noting that reviews found no reason to rescind the prizes.
“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 board said in a statement. “The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes in National Reporting stand.”
The awards were given 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,” according to the Pulitzer board.
Now Trump has given himself a deadline to sue. Trump claimed at the rally that the stories “libel” him.
“By allowing these people that got Russia, Russia, Russia wrong, they’re actually libeling me because they’re saying they got it right,” Trump said.
They didn’t get “Russia, Russia, Russia wrong.”
An investigation by the U.S. intelligence community found the Kremlin was extensively involved in social media manipulation in a bid to get Trump elected in 2016, and to defeat Hillary Clinton.
The probe by special counsel Robert Mueller found that the Russian government worked to help Trump win the 2016 election, and that the Trump campaign believed it would benefit from information stolen and disseminated by Moscow. His investigation uncovered multiple links between Kremlin operatives and members of the Trump campaign.
A bipartisan Senate report also found several ties from Trump allies and his campaign to Russian operatives. In just one example, the report concluded that Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s “high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services … represented a grave counterintelligence threat.”
The Pulitzer board did not immediately comment about Trump’s latest threat to sue.