On Friday, BuzzFeed News published the kicker that people on the Left, who have been calling for President Trump’s impeachment, were finally looking for. They caught him, so they thought after the publication reported two unnamed law enforcement officials claimed that Trump instructed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
“President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter,” BuzzFeed News reported.
The report said the president, his daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner were also consistently updated by Cohen regarding a real estate deal in Moscow, a claim Trump previously dismissed.
Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.
The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.
Less than a day later, the report has been completely refuted, including a statement from a spokesperson for special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
“But, it turns out, this is entirely fake news and inaccurate,” Breitbart News reports. “In response to the story, nearly a full day later, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr issued a rare statement rebuking BuzzFeed report as false.”
Spokesperson Peter Carr said, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”
That’s it: Zero, zilch, zip, nada, nothing. But BuzzFeed News stuck by their reporting.
From Breitbart: “Mueller’s office hardly ever issues any public statements, and almost never responds publicly to press inquiries other than to provide court-ordered public releases of documents. So the decision to do so, and the impact of that decision, is particularly embarrassing for BuzzFeed. Incredulously, BuzzFeed is still standing by its story–despite the fact that Mueller nuked it.”
BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith tweeted, “In response to the statement tonight from the Special Counsel’s spokesman: We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.”
The Mueller investigation reportedly responded to this statement too.
The Washington Post reported:
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office on Friday denied an explosive report by BuzzFeed News that his investigators had gathered evidence showing President Trump directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a prospective business deal in Moscow.
The statement was remarkable on several levels — first, the special counsel’s office speaks exceedingly rarely, and second, the statement seemed to drive a stake through a sensational allegation that Democratic lawmakers suggested earlier in the day could spell the end of the Trump presidency. As earthshaking as the claims in the story were, no other media organizations were able to match them.
The story had claimed Cohen had acknowledged to Mueller’s prosecutors that the president directed him to deceive Congress about key facts linking the president to the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. BuzzFeed also said Mueller learned about the directive to lie from “interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”
Mueller’s denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate.