The internet is having a field day over Donald Trump Jr.'s latest mishap on Twitter. In the wake of the completion of the Mueller report, the president's son took to the social media platform to express his outrage that The New York Times and the The Washington Post were both awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their in-depth coverage of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe, and it's safe to say that he put his foot in his mouth with his comeback. Donald Trump Jr.'s Pulitzer Prize tweet got one major thing wrong about the prestigious award, and the Twitterverse is mercilessly roasting him for the error.
It all started when President Trump took to Twitter on Friday, March 29 to slam the two publications and call for the Pulitzer Prize committee to pull the recognition it awarded both The New York Times and the The Washington Post for what the committee dubbed "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," per the Pulitzer website.
Trump tweeted on Friday, March 29:
So funny that The New York Times & The Washington Post got a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage (100% NEGATIVE and FAKE!) of Collusion with Russia - And there was No Collusion! So, they were either duped or corrupt? In any event, their prizes should be taken away by the Committee!
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on and clarification of President Trump's tweet, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Just moments later, Trump Jr. took to the social media platform to re-tweet his father's message along with what he thought was a well-placed joke:
He’s right... unless they give Pulitzer’s for fiction.
Aside from the unnecessary apostrophe, people quickly took aim at the bigger issue: There are Pulitzer Prizes that are awarded for fictional works. And the Twitterverse immediately pounced on the fact that the 41-year-old owned himself. Twitter users, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, took to the social media platform to educate Trump Jr. on his mistake. Elite Daily reached out to Trump Jr.'s representation for comment and clarification on the original tweet, as well as a response to the backlash that it has inspired, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American author who won the Pulitzer for fiction in 2016, took to Twitter to offer up a response.
Of course, a Trump University reference found its way in to the responses.
The Trumps' tweets come less than one week after Attorney General William Barr released his own summary of the Mueller report. The findings of the investigation did not find evidence of collusion between the President's aides and the Russian government but offered no conclusion on whether the president attempted to obstruct the investigation. Barr wrote in the March 24 letter that Mueller's lack of "legal conclusiveness" leaves the determination to the Attorney General, and he said from there that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is no sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense." Barr also revealed, however, that the probe found evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement on March 24, that said:
The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.
Elite Daily previously reached out to the DOJ for comment on whether the letter constitutes "complete exoneration" President Trump, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
In response to President Trump's tweet, the New York Times hit back at his allegations by posting, "We're proud of our Pulitzer-prize winning reporting on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Every @nytimes article cited has proven accurate."
In a statement from spokeswoman Eileen Murphy, the publication reiterated:
No report in our package of Pulitzer-prize winning work has been challenged. In fact, what we know of the Mueller report from the Attorney General’s summary confirms our coverage. Russia actively worked to upend the American elections in 2016 and there were multiple instances of Trump Transition and Administration officials having contact with Russia.
While The Washington Post didn't officially comment, reporter Josh Dawsey took to Twitter to confirm that "not a single prize-winning story had a substantive correction."
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the publications' responses to the president's tweet, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
A number of key politicians continue to call for the release of the full Mueller report, but Mitch McConnell blocked a resolution to reveal the probe's findings to the public earlier this week. Per CNN, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed on Friday, March 29 that the full Mueller report (with redactions) would be out by mid-April. The DOJ did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for further comment on the possible release of the full Mueller report.
Still, considering that the contents of the report continue to dominate the news cycle, it's unlikely that the legal and political fight around its findings will only continue in the upcoming weeks.