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Trump threatens Pulitzer committee with legal action if they don’t rescind award for Russia probe coverage

Former President Donald Trump is calling on the Pulitzer Prize Board to revoke prizes awarded to the New York Times and Washington Post in 2018 for their coverage of the Russia investigation, threatening legal action if they do not comply.

In a letter to Pulitzer administrator Marjorie Miller, Trump noted that he twice previously made the request, stating that the reporting on the years-long probe was based on false information.

“There is no dispute that the Pulitzer Board’s award to those media outlets was based on false and fabricated information that they published,” the former president said. “The continuing publication and recognition of the prizes on the Board’s website is a distortion of fact and a personal defamation that will result in the filing of litigation if the Board cannot be persuaded to do the right thing on its own.”

Fox News reached out to the Pulitzer Board for comment, but they did not immediately respond.

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The letter, dated May 27, references “additional recent evidence” and calls on the board “to pay close attention to the developments in the ongoing criminal trial of Michael Sussman [sic], the former attorney for the 2016 Clinton Campaign.”

Sussmann was accused of lying to the FBI and hiding that he was representing the Clinton campaign when he had a meeting to provide information about Trump. Sussmann was acquitted by a jury on Tuesday.

Trump pointed to the revelation at Sussmann’s trial that Clinton approved the dissemination of materials to the media alleging a secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank, despite campaign officials not being “totally confident” in the legitimacy of the data.

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The former president claimed that the Times and Post quickly would have learned that the Clinton campaign’s “shameful smears” were false, “had they done even a modicum of journalistic investigation” into the matter.

Trump also asked the Board to look at Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report detailing problems with the FBI’s actions in the early stages of the Russia probe before it was turned over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“Together with the publications that have obsessively promulgated disgustingly false attacks against me, you have done all you can to destroy my reputation,” Trump said, asking, “how do I get my reputation back?” 

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Jake Gibson, and David Spunt contributed to this report.

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