Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is disputing a BuzzFeed report that President Donald Trump directed his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the proposed Moscow Trump Tower project.
“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,” said special counsel spokesman Peter Carr in a statement.
Carr’s statement is extremely rare. The special counsel’s office has almost never commented on published stories.
To be clear: Mueller is not disputing that Cohen says Trump told him to lie. He’s disputing the line about corroborating evidence taken from Trump Org emails, texts, etc. Still a huge deal. But not a total refutation. In fact, Cohen’s 11/30 memo says Trump directed him to lie.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) January 19, 2019
This is the most scrutinized political scandal in American history by a mile. If you think the reporters and editors at Buzzfeed didn’t throughly comb through every detail of this scoop numerous times, you are sorely mistaken.
Mueller’s office is nitpicking to calm down Trump.
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 19, 2019
In other words: the Mueller team’s wording leaves open the possibility that some of the story might be accurate. But the fact that they called substantial elements of the story inaccurate should be taken seriously.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 19, 2019
The good news about the Buzzfeed story mystery is we won't have to wait long to find out. The very first question Michael Cohen will be asked in his congressional testimony is "Did the President ever instruct or encourage you to lie to Congress or federal investigators?"
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) January 19, 2019
I'm totally calm about this.
The Mueller statement talks about the *characterization* being wrong, not the content. This isn't a sweeping "no."
They *declined comment* on the front end and issued a wordsmithed statement.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) January 19, 2019