Trump Embarks on New Crusade After String of Legal Losses

Former President Donald Trump announced he is launching a lawsuit against the panel that awarded Pulitzer Prizes to The New York Times and The Washington Post after it refused to rescind awards it gave the two outlets for their reporting on Trump's alleged connections to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In a post on Truth Social on Monday, Trump said he would be launching an effort to "set the record straight" after the publication of a harsh critique in the Columbia Journalism Review over the weekend criticizing the processes involved in Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting in the two newspapers that "wound up being significantly flawed or based on uncorroborated or debunked information."

Facing calls from Trump and his allies last year to rescind the awards, however, the board announced it would be standing by the awards after an independent review determined "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."

Trump, it seems, is not giving up, announcing Monday he intended to launch a lawsuit against the board for the awards.

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump, pictured here with a Pulitzer Prize medal in inset. Trump has announced he is launching a lawsuit against the panel that awarded Pulitzer Prizes to The New York Times and The Washington Post after it refused to rescind awards it gave the two outlets for reporting focused on the former president's alleged ties to Russia. Newsweek Photo Illustration/Getty Images

"The Pulitzer Board should have long ago rescinded awards given to the Washington Compost (known to some as the Washington Post) & the Failing NY Times for their fake stories on the Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax," he wrote.

"However, Pulitzer refuses to do the right thing! The Hoax has now been further exposed by the devastating, irrefutable piece in the Columbia Journalism Review, and Pulitzer has no comment. I am suing the Pulitzer Board to set the record straight and continue fighting for TRUTH in America!" the former president added.

A member of the Pulitzer Board declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

However, it's unclear if Trump actually intends to follow through on his threat to sue the board—particularly after receiving nearly $1 million in sanctions for filing a pair of frivolous lawsuits against New York Attorney General Letitia James earlier this year.

As of this writing, a search of federal court records shows no lawsuits have been filed against the Pulitzer Board recently.

It's also unclear whether Trump's most recent threat is a new one, or a reprise of past grievances against the Pulitzer Board.

Last December, Trump reportedly launched a lawsuit against the Pulitzer Board in Okeechobee County, Florida, Fox News reported, arguing a "demonstrably false connection was and remains the stated basis" for the coverage that received the award.

However, a search of Okeechobee County court records as well as the federal courts does not show whether such a case has actually been filed, nor is it clear whether Trump's current complaint against the Pulitzer Board is the same one he had alluded to in December.

Newsweek has reached out to Trump's team for comment.

Update 2/6/23, 4:35 p.m. ET: This article was updated to show that a member of the Pulitzer Board declined to comment.

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts