Former President Donald Trump has filed a libel suit against the Pulitzer Prize board for jointly awarding The New York Times and The Washington Post the 2018 National Reporting Award for their coverage of the Russian collusion scandal.
Trump’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Okeechobee County, Florida, claims the “patently false connection was and remains the stated basis” for the newspapers’ award-winning coverage, Fox News reported.
“A large portion of Americans had a huge misunderstanding of the truth at the time when The Times and Post’s propagation of the Russia collusion hoax dominated the media,” the complaint states. “Remarkably, they were rewarded for lying to the American public.”
The Washington Post and The Times received the award for their “deep-sourced, tirelessly reported coverage in the public interest that significantly improved the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its ties. with the Trump campaign, the president-elect’s transition team, and his eventual administration,” according to the Pulitzer website.
The coverage sparked a lengthy investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller that ultimately failed to find enough evidence to indict Trump’s campaign team for colluding with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
The complaint said Mueller’s failure to find evidence of collusion and the Justice Department’s report that uncovered wrongdoing among federal officials investigating the alleged Russian collusion prove the stories don’t come first, according to Fox.
The lawsuit also claims that the actions of those involved in the discredited “Steele dossier” — including former Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann, accused of lying to federal investigators about Trump’s ties to a Russian bank — also demonstrate that the cover is not worthy of an award.
“While elements of the Times and Post were almost certainly complicit in the Russia collusion hoax, it is ultimately irrelevant that the authors of the award-winning articles understood at the time that they were spreading fabricated political disinformation. paid sources for the purpose of misleading the public and tarnishing the reputation and political prospects of President Trump,” the complaint states.
“What matters instead is the conduct of the defendants, especially when many of the key Russian collusion hoax claims and premises that permeated the award-winning articles were revealed by the Mueller Report and congressional investigations to be false after the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. been awarded,” the complaint continues.
Trump’s lawyers pointed out that the Washington Post has since retracted some of its articles on the Steele dossier, but noted that “the retracted articles, which also advanced the Russia collusion hoax narrative, were conveniently omitted from specific articles submitted by the Post for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize.”
In July, Pulitzer’s board rejected Trump’s call to rescind the awards and his request for “a full and fair correction, apology, or retraction” of the stories.
The board said it conducted two independent coverage reviews after receiving multiple inquiries from parties other than Trump.
“The separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that no passage or title, assertion or assertion in any of the winning submissions has been discredited by facts that emerged after the awarding of the prizes,” the Board wrote in a statement.
The complaint alleges that the board statement was released “with knowledge or reckless disregard for its falsity,” and accused board members of knowing “that the Russian collusion hoax had been completely discredited on numerous occasions by exhaustive and credible official investigations, contradicting the “deep sources”. , articles reported relentlessly”.
“The Pulitzer statement was knowingly released by the defendants to create a false implication in the reader’s mind that ‘the Trump campaign, the president-elect’s transition team, and his eventual administration’ were linked to Russian attempts at interference. in the 2016 presidential election,” Trump’s lawyers said.
Trump is seeking damages “in an amount to be proven at trial,” according to the outlet. He has threatened to sue the organization in the past.
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Trump sues Pulitzer Prize board for defamation for giving ‘Russiagate’ coverage to WaPo and NYT – CNET – ApparelGeek