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The Pulitzer Prize Board‘s decision to stand by its 2018 media awards for coverage of the 2016 allegations of Russian collusion between Russia and then-candidate Donald Trump is a “big win” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former defense intelligence official told The Daily Wire.
On Sunday, the board announced that it would not revoke the awards in national reporting that it gave to The Washington Post and The New York Times after “separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that 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.” Former President Donald Trump had previously requested that Pulitzer scrub the awards after new information has been revealed through various government investigations and additional reporting into the matter which showed that no such collusion existed between his campaign and Russia.
“Pulitzer’s refusal to take back the award given for the inaccurate coverage of the Russiagate Hoax is a big win for Putin,” said Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency intelligence officer specializing in Russian Doctrine & Strategy.
Koffler told The Daily Wire that any interference Putin did in previous elections was meant to cause division and that The Times and The Post played a role in that effort, even if unwittingly.
“Putin’s goal for intervening in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 (as well as in 2018 and 2020) by running cyber-enabled and clandestine influence operations was to divide America by pitting Trump and Clinton supporters against one another,” Koffler explained. “The media outlets, which spread the false ‘Russia-Trump collusion’ narratives, essentially helped Putin foment chaos in our country and undermine the confidence of the American people in the election process.”
Allegations of collusion with Russia dogged Trump during his campaign and throughout his presidency. Ex-special counsel Robert Mueller for three years investigated claims that the Trump campaign had illegally coordinated with Russian agents to influence the 2016 election. He eventually concluded that no such evidence exists.
Koffler, the author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” also told The Daily Wire that Pulitzer’s decision will have negative impacts on American democracy.
“Instead of revoking it from the purveyors of fake news, is a major loss for democracy and a big win for Putin and America’s foes,” she said. “This misguided decision also discredits the award itself, which has been the hallmark of journalistic achievement for over a century.”
Trump’s attorneys blasted the board for not revoking the awards and claimed that the papers in question fed the false narrative that their client had somehow worked with Putin to win in 2016.
“The idea that President Trump plotted with Vladimir Putin to skew the 2016 election in his favor was always preposterous. Since 2018, if not before, it has been clear that the articles upon which the Pulitzer Board based its Prize include numerous false statements that are defamatory to our client,” the attorney’s letter said. “We assume that in awarding the Prize, the Board was misled by frenzied media reports alleging that President Trump colluded with Russia. That was never plausible, and it has since been proven to have been a cynical invention of Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and the DNC.”
As pointed out by Fox News, Pulitzer’s awards were given for articles that included citations of the now largely-debunked Steele Dossier and that reporting after the fact showed much of the allegations against Trump were mere rumors.