Former US President Donald Trump called on Monday on the Pulitzer Prize Board to revoke the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting awarded to journalists at The New York Times and Washington Post for their coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The two newspapers received the award in 2018 “for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nations’ 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 Committee.
In a letter addressed to Dr. Bud Kliment, interim administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, Trump said the awards were granted based on false reporting and a "complete lack of evidence." He also said the coverage relied heavily on anonymous sources, meaning "the public was deprived of an independent means of assessing their credibility, their potential for political bias, and the source of their knowledge."
Trump has claimed the allegations were "confirmed false" and he had been "exonerated" of the charges. Robert Mueller, who led the investigation into claims that Russia had interfered with the 2016 election, said however that his report did not exonerate the former president.
The letter comes after Hillary Clinton's campaign attorney, Michael Sussman, was recently charged with making false statements to the FBI when he shared information about the Trump Campaign and Russia in 2016. Trump has claimed that the indictment "reinforces the falsehood" of a connection between his campaign and Alfa Bank.
The former president called on the board to "rectify" the situation, saying that the integrity of the prestigious award for journalism will otherwise be compromised.