US President Donald Trump on Thursday said the newspapers that won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Russian investigation should return the highest award in journalism.
"They are not journalists. They are thieves. All of those journalists that we see with the Pulitzer Prize should be forced to give those prizes back because they were all wrong. You saw it today, more documents came out saying there was absolutely no collusion with Russia," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House.
He said this after the Department of Justice said it was dropping its prosecution of his former National Security Advisor Gen. (retd) Michael Flynn.
"Pulitzer prizes should all be returned because you know what, they were given out falsely. It was fake news, they are all fake news. Those Pulitzer prizes should be given back immediately and the Pulitzer committee, or whoever gives the prizes, they are a disgrace unless they give those prizes back because they got Pulitzer prizes for what turned out to be false stories," Trump said.
"Pulitzer prizes should be given to the ones who got it right and I could give you a long list of those names too, and you know who I am talking about," he added.
Trump said Flynn was an innocent man. "He is a great gentleman, he was targeted by the Obama administration and he was targeted in order to try and take down a president, and what they have done is a disgrace and I hope a big price is going to be paid, a big price should be paid. There has never been anything like this in the history of our country," he said.
"What they did, what the Obama administration did is unprecedented. It has never happened, never happened. A thing like this has never happened before in the history of our country and I hope a lot of people are going to pay a big price because they are dishonest, crooked people. They are scum and I say it a lot, they are scum, they are human scum. This should never have happened in this country," the president said.
He alleged that they went after a duly elected president. "They went after him by going after fine people and those fine people said no, I am not going to lie, I cannot lie. He is not the only one, there are many of them and they all said I cannot lie. They could have said something like make up a lie, Trump loves somebody or something or some country and they said you would not have any problem. That is what they were trying to do and it is a disgrace," the president said.
"The Obama administration's Justice Department was a disgrace and they got caught, they got caught. Very dishonest people but much more than dishonest, it is treason, it is treason," he said.
Noting that he is very happy for Flynn, Trump said is a great warrior. "Now, in my book, he is an even greater warrior. What happened to him should never happen again and what happened to this presidency to go through all of that and still do more than any president has ever done in the first three years is pretty amazing," he said.