Politifact: Donald Trump’s ‘fake news awards’ could land White House staff in Hot Water

John Kruzel
Jan 11, 2018

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump honed his craft of slamming media organizations that covered him critically, a practice he’s carried over to the White House.


Because of that rule, the ethics office also has long considered it improper for an executive branch employee to condemn a company, said Walter Shaub, who led the OGE until his resignation in July 2017. "You can't use your government position to endorse a company, and you can't trash a company to the advantage of a different company," said Shaub, who is now the senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center. 

Shaub told PolitiFact that a staffers' participation in an official Trump administration event designed to publicly humiliate certain media outlets would clearly constitute a misuse of their government position. "It’s not even a close call," he said. "Sending out tweets talking about how great Fox News is, which is a business, and now he’s going to give awards trashing CNN and others, which are businesses, is preferential treatment."

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