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

John Kruzel
Jan 11, 2018
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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.

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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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