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Trump Announces ‘Fake News Awards’ Winners, Site Crashes

UPDATED: President Donald Trump finally tweeted out a list of winners of the first Fake News Awards, but the link to a Republican National Committee site turned up error messages.

The message read, “The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later.” Others reported getting a link to a survey and a fundraising appeal.

The RNC said that the page was back up later in the evening. “Tonight, gop.com saw more traffic than ever before. Even though the servers were scaled up, the interest was even greater than anticipated. Traffic is off the charts. Come back soon,” the RNC said in a tweet.

Fox News, which apparently got access to a list of winners, reported that the New York Times topped the list.

The “winner” in first place was columnist Paul Krugman for “claiming markets would ‘never’ recover from Trump presidency.” Others on the list were:

2. ABC News’ Brian Ross, for reporting that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump had asked him to make contact with the Russians while Trump was a candidate. In fact, Trump made the request after he won the election. Ross was suspended for a month for the error.

3. A CNN report that Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., had access to hacked documents from Wikileaks. The network corrected the story.

4. Time reported that Trump, just inaugurated, removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. The reporter did not spot the bust, and later apologized.

5. The Washington Post, for falsely reporting that a Trump rally in Pensacola was empty. The claim was made in a tweet, based on a photo of the crowd hours before the event began. The reporter, Dave Weigel, removed the tweet and apologized for the error.

6. CNN, for “falsely” editing video to make it appear that Trump “defiantly overfed” fish during a visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The prime minister, in fact, led Trump in the feeding.

7. CNN, for a story that reported on Anthony Scaramucci and his ties to a Russian investment fund. CNN retracted the piece, and the three journalists responsible for it resigned.

8. Newsweek, for reporting that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake Trump’s hand. In fact, she ultimately did.

9. CNN, for reporting that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute Trump’s claim that he was not under investigation in the Russia prove. That is not what happened, and the network had to make a correction.

10. The New York Times, for “falsely claiming” that the Trump administration had “hidden” a climate report. In fact, it was already public. The Times issued a correction.

11. No outlet is cited, but the “winner” is “Russia collusion.” “Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!” the RNC list says.

In fact, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has not completed his investigation.

Earlier this month, Trump promised to unveil the award winners on Wednesday, but as the workday ended, late night comics like Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee began to question and quip about the stalled awards.

Trump, though, tweeted out a link to the awards at 8 p.m. ET.

Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel and others skewered Trump’s plans for the awards, coming in the midst of Hollywood’s own award season, but some lawmakers on Capitol Hill took the president’s actions as an attack on press freedom. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) delivered a blistering speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday morning, and his colleague John McCain (R-Arizona) wrote an op ed calling on Trump to stop attacking the news media.

Trump later tweeted that “despite some very corrupt and dishonest media coverage, there are many great reporters I respect and lots of GOOD NEWS for the American people to be proud of!”

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