President Donald Trump — via the Republican National Committee — on Wednesday released the winners of the his much-hyped "Fake News Awards."
Long advertised by the president as a celebration of — as he called it — “the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media,” the awards named 11 articles published since Trump took office. Almost as soon as he tweeted the link to the "awards" on a GOP.com page it crashed, presumably due to high traffic volume, but NBC News obtained a copy of the site.
“2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news,” the page claimed before listing off “the winners," which included CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other large news outlets.
Trump had first promised to roll out the awards on Jan. 8, but he later changed the date to Jan. 17.
Trump followed the linked tweet with one that said "there are many great reporters that I respect and lots of GOOD News for the American people to be proud of!"
The “awards" focused on 11 reports, including reporting on crowd sizes; whether a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. was moved out of the Oval Office; if the president had overfed fish in Japan; whether the Trump administration was hiding climate reports; and former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci meeting with Russians.
The list ended with the president’s favorite refrain — in all caps: "THERE IS NO COLLUSION!" Trump's FNAs claim that “Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain, both Republicans, derided Trump for his continued attacks on the media, with Flake comparing Trump to noted mass-murdering dictator Joseph Stalin.
“The free press is the despot's enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy,” Flake said in a speech on the floor of the Senate. “When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”