The Pulitzer Prize Board revealed in a statement Monday that it commissioned two independent reviews after acquiring inquiries from former President Donald Trump and others.
"Both reviews were conducted by individuals with no connection to the institutions whose work was under examination, nor any connection to each other. The 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," the statement says.
Trump insisted that the board cancel the award from the New York Times and Washington Post and threatened legal action in a letter in May.
"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 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," Trump said in the letter dated May 27.
The board awarded the 2018 award for national reporting to the two publications for "for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s 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 its website.
The Pulitzer Prize Board has a prepared, formal process by which complaints against winning entries are carefully reviewed. In the last three years, the Pulitzer Board has received inquiries, including from former President Donald Trump, about submissions from The New York Times and The Washington Post on Russian interference in the U.S. election and its connections to the Trump campaign--submissions that jointly won the 2018 National Reporting prize.
These inquiries urged the Pulitzer Board to commission two independent reviews of the work submitted by those organizations to our National Reporting competition. Both reviews were carried by individuals with no link to the institutions whose work was under examination, nor any association to each other. The separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that no passages or headlines, contentions or opinions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged after the conferral of the prizes.