Given that the Justice Department has decided to drop the case against former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and that the Office of National Intelligence has released formerly classified interviews revealing the FBI had no evidence of actual collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, President Trump said the journalists who won Pulitzer Prizes for their "collusion" stories should return their prizes.
"The media is totally guilty and all of those writers and so-called journalists -- they’re not journalists, they’re thieves,” Trump said at the White House on Thursday, May 7. “All of those journalists that received a Pulitzer Prize should be forced to give those Pulitzer Prizes back, because they were all wrong."
"Because if you saw, today more documents came out saying there was absolutely no collusion with Russia, came out very loud and clear," said the president. "And they wrote for years because they tried to do a number on the presidency and this president, [who] happened to be me."
“Pulitzer Prizes should all be returned, because you know what? They were given out falsely," said Trump. "It was fake news. They're all fake news."
The two news organizations that won Pulitzer Prizes for National Reporting in 2018 were the Washington Post and the New York Times. They received the prizes for stories they published in 2017 about or in relation to the alleged Russia-Trump collusion conspiracy.
As the Pulitzer Prize committee explained, the prizes were awarded "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. (The New York Times entry, submitted in this category, was moved into contention by the Board and then jointly awarded the Prize.)"
Some of the "Winning Work" included, Officials say Flynn discussed sanctions (Washington Post), White House received warning about Flynn (Washington Post), FBI was to pay author of Trump dossier (Washington Post), President asked intelligence chiefs to deny collusion (Washington Post), Trump’s actions now a focus of Mueller inquiry (Washington Post), Emails Disclose Trump Son's Glee At Russian Offer (New York Times), and Trump Transition Said to Know Of Flynn Inquiry Before Hiring (New York Times).
Trump's assertions about no Russia-Trump collusion, while true, do not necessarily undercut or refute any of the reporting done by The Times or The Post. However, there was much "fake news" reporting and commentary done by myriad liberal media that flat-out accused (or strongly insinuated) the president had somehow conspired with Russian forces to sway the election in his favor.
That claim pushed by the liberal media was proven false by the Mueller report and, this week, further buttressed by the documents released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the House's Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“Those Pulitzer Prizes should be given back immediately, and the Pulitzer Committee or whoever gives the prizes, they’re a disgrace unless they take those prizes back," Trump said on Thursday.
He continued, "because they got Pulitzer Prizes for what turned out to be false stories and Pulitzer Prizes should be given to the ones who got it right, and I could give you a long list of those names too, and you know who I'm talking about."