State Department revoked award to journalist who dared criticize Trump


The State Department was set to honor a Finnish journalist with an International Women of Courage award — until they realized she criticized Trump on social media.

Talk about petty.

The State Department revoked an award to a Finnish journalist after learning the journalist had criticized Trump on social media, Foreign Policy reported on Thursday.

Jessikka Aro was set to receive the International Women of Courage award for her reporting that helped expose Russian troll farms. However after going through her social media and realizing Aro has criticized Trump, the State Department revoked the award.

One unnamed U.S. diplomatic source told Foreign Policy that the decision to yank the award from Aro was "absolutely the wrong decision on so many levels," because it "had nothing to do with her work."

A look through Aro's Twitter feed found the Finnish journalist has indeed criticized Trump.

When Trump was criticizing Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) from Vietnam for Blumenthal's military service, Aro pointed out that Trump was a Vietnam War draft dodger.

"Well, your own war hero stories are zero," Aro tweeted at Trump. "You avoided Vietnam claiming medical deferment and told your lawyer Michael Cohen: 'You think I'm stupid, I wasn't going to Vietnam.' That's disgraceful."

On March 1, Aro replied to a Trump tweet that was part of a Trump Twitter meltdown after Michael Cohen's testimony on Capitol Hill.

"It would be really interesting to witness the POTUS tweet about policies, topical issues home and abroad, promoting human rights, democracy or anything else useful," Aro tweeted. "Instead, all we see you tweet is smears. Please even try? You are the president of the USA, not a troll - I hope!"

And in a March 3 tweet in response to Trump — who had just called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt" for the umpteenth time — Aro wrote:

"I'm writing a book about Russian trolls and their influence operations around the globe," Aro wrote in response to Trump. "Thanks for providing a never-ending flow of inspiration and material for my book. Your tweets constantly remind me of the importance of my (and Bob Mueller's) work."

The State Department, for its part, tried to claim that Aro was "incorrectly notified" of her award, according to Foreign Policy's report.

Aro, however, doesn't seem to buy that excuse, and slammed the decision to revoke her award.

"I use Twitter to exchange ideas and share information freely," Aro told Foreign Policy. "I find the idea of U.S. government officials stalking my Twitter and politicizing my perfectly normal expressions of opinion deeply disturbing."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.