LONDON: The board of the Pulitzer Prize on Monday rejected a plea by former US President Donald Trump which called for the prize awarded to news reporters for their Russia coverage to be revoked.
The Pulitzer prize was awarded to The New York Times and Washington Post reporters in 2018 for their joint effort in covering Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, as well as Russian ties to Trump’s campaign and members of his administration.
The board’s decision comes after two separate independent reviews into Trump’s claims found that the award-winning reporting on Russian meddling in the presidential race between Trump and Hillary Clinton was conducted legitimately.
“Both reviews were conducted by individuals with no connection to the institutions whose work was under examination, nor any connection to each other,” the board said in a statement.
“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 2018 Pulitzer Prizes in the National Reporting stand,” the statement added.
On Monday, the Pulitzer Center defended the awards, saying that Trump’s continued criticism of the media’s focus on the investigation was baseless given that reporters had no way of predicting the outcome.
Trump has repeatedly called for the prizes to be rescinded, citing “false reporting of a nonexistent link between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.”
The former US president also threatened the board with legal action, accusing the Pulitzer group of “running cover” for the prize winners and said that its investigations were conducted “in a veil of secrecy.”
This is not the first time that Trump has criticized coverage of Russia’s interference into his campaign.
In 2019, the former US leader called investigative efforts by special counsel Robert S. Mueller a “witch hunt.”