Mueller says bombshell BuzzFeed story Trump directed lawyer Cohen to lie to congress is FALSE

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has called the bombshell BuzzFeed report claiming President Donald Trump told his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress is false, and Trump has responded with another slam of the outlet.

‘Remember it was Buzzfeed that released the totally discredited “Dossier,” paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats (as opposition research), on which the entire Russian probe is based!’ he posted late Friday night. ‘A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!’

Then, reiterating an old talking point, he followed that up by tweeting ‘Fake News is truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!’

The celebratory response comes after the special counsel’s office issued a rare public statement disputing the accuracy of a news report saying that Trump told his personal attorney Cohen to lie to Congress. 

Otherwise, President Trump spent several hours after the Mueller office statement was released letting others go on the offense for him as he retweeted several supporters throughout the evening. 

President Trump talks to reporters as Vice President Mike Pence looks on

President Trump talks to reporters as Vice President Mike Pence looks on

President Trump talks to reporters as Vice President Mike Pence looks on

The president made a direct comment regarding the allegation that BuzzFeed was not entirely accurate in their reporting late Friday night

The president made a direct comment regarding the allegation that BuzzFeed was not entirely accurate in their reporting late Friday night

The president made a direct comment regarding the allegation that BuzzFeed was not entirely accurate in their reporting late Friday night

President Trump has repeatedly used the phrases 'fake news' and  'enemy of the people' to reference unfavorable coverage in the mainstream press

President Trump has repeatedly used the phrases 'fake news' and  'enemy of the people' to reference unfavorable coverage in the mainstream press

President Trump has repeatedly used the phrases ‘fake news’ and  ‘enemy of the people’ to reference unfavorable coverage in the mainstream press

Ben Smith, editor-in-chief at BuzzFeed, however, called into MSNBC to speak with Chris Hayes saying ‘the special counsel issued this very vague statement, we are eager to know what he’s talking about.’  

After BuzzFeed retweeted the Mueller spokesperson’s statement itself, Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief, 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.’ 

Making his way around to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Ben Smith further requested clarification from the special counsel’s office and defended his reporters, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier.

‘We’re really confident in these specific sources and in the stories these reporters told,’ Smith said after referencing two unidentified law enforcement officials from the original story that reported Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow real estate project 

The statement by Robert Mueller’s office on Friday night doesn’t cite any specific errors.  

President Donald Turmp's team punched back Friday against a Buzzfeed story from overnight that claimed the president once directed his lawyer and fixer Michael Coneh to lie to Congress

President Donald Turmp's team punched back Friday against a Buzzfeed story from overnight that claimed the president once directed his lawyer and fixer Michael Coneh to lie to Congress

President Donald Turmp’s team punched back Friday against a Buzzfeed story from overnight that claimed the president once directed his lawyer and fixer Michael Coneh to lie to Congress

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office called the BuzzFeed story on Cohen lying on behalf of Trump 'inaccurate'

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office called the BuzzFeed story on Cohen lying on behalf of Trump 'inaccurate'

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office called the BuzzFeed story on Cohen lying on behalf of Trump ‘inaccurate’

Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed is sticking by the outlet's story and asking for clarification for what Mueller's office is disptuing

Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed is sticking by the outlet's story and asking for clarification for what Mueller's office is disptuing

Ben Smith (left), editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed is sticking by the story co-written by Jason Leopold (right) and asking for clarification for what Mueller’s office is disputing

Spokesman Peter Carr says, ‘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’. 

Shortly after the statement was released Friday evening Trump retweeted a tweet which said: ‘Sadly so many will never get the memo that it was fake!’ 

President Trump praised his son, Donald Trump Jr., for praising him as he also 

The president also retweeted the Newsmax host John Cardillo saying ‘I told you all that the BuzzFeed story was nonsense.’ Then he also drew attention to podcaster Dan Bongino’s commentary, ‘We called it. FAKE NEWS! “More Buzzfeed B.S.”‘ 

President Trump’s response to the Mueller statement on BuzzFeed 

While President Trump responded to the late afternoon news dropped by Peter Carr for the Mueller investigation, he himself didn’t personally respond waiting until just before midnight to add his response to Twitter. 

He retweeted Newsmax host John Cardillo as the story broke. Cardillo had tweeted his skepticism about the BuzzFeed report prior to this development

He retweeted Newsmax host John Cardillo as the story broke. Cardillo had tweeted his skepticism about the BuzzFeed report prior to this development

He retweeted Newsmax host John Cardillo as the story broke. Cardillo had tweeted his skepticism about the BuzzFeed report prior to this development

Trump then moved on to retweet Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent and current podcaster who linked his own post about BuzzFeed

Trump then moved on to retweet Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent and current podcaster who linked his own post about BuzzFeed

Trump then moved on to retweet Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent and current podcaster who linked his own post about BuzzFeed

Breaking from the BuzzFeed story, Trump retweeted a post by his former deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka from nearly two years ago showing his inauguration

Breaking from the BuzzFeed story, Trump retweeted a post by his former deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka from nearly two years ago showing his inauguration

Breaking from the BuzzFeed story, Trump retweeted a post by his former deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka from nearly two years ago showing his inauguration

Back to Bongino, the president retweeted another favorite talking point that the real scandal was how his former opponent and predecessor behaved 

Then he posted another Bongino link, this time asserting his approval rating has increased with Latinos during the current government shutdown

Then he posted another Bongino link, this time asserting his approval rating has increased with Latinos during the current government shutdown

Then he posted another Bongino link, this time asserting his approval rating has increased with Latinos during the current government shutdown

Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager for the 2020 presidential election, retweeted the fired-up eldest son of Donald Trump criticizing the media in general

Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager for the 2020 presidential election, retweeted the fired-up eldest son of Donald Trump criticizing the media in general

Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager for the 2020 presidential election, retweeted the fired-up eldest son of Donald Trump criticizing the media in general

Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee chairwoman, was retweeted questioning the methods the BuzzFeed reporters utilized

Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee chairwoman, was retweeted questioning the methods the BuzzFeed reporters utilized

Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee chairwoman, was retweeted questioning the methods the BuzzFeed reporters utilized

The president then retweeted a fan posting a thank-you to God and a meme of the figure of Uncle Sam kneeling in prayer

The president then retweeted a fan posting a thank-you to God and a meme of the figure of Uncle Sam kneeling in prayer

The president then retweeted a fan posting a thank-you to God and a meme of the figure of Uncle Sam kneeling in prayer

Trump then posted a video with the snow backdrop of the White House making his case for a border wall again, the main sticking point in the government shutdown fight

Trump then posted a video with the snow backdrop of the White House making his case for a border wall again, the main sticking point in the government shutdown fight

Trump then posted a video with the snow backdrop of the White House making his case for a border wall again, the main sticking point in the government shutdown fight

Returning to the matter of BuzzFeed, Trump retweeted co-founder of Students for Trump that expresses his opinion on what journalism 'isn't'

Returning to the matter of BuzzFeed, Trump retweeted co-founder of Students for Trump that expresses his opinion on what journalism 'isn't'

Returning to the matter of BuzzFeed, Trump retweeted co-founder of Students for Trump that expresses his opinion on what journalism ‘isn’t’

Retweeting another supporter, Trump again returns to the topic of fake news

Retweeting another supporter, Trump again returns to the topic of fake news

Retweeting another supporter, Trump again returns to the topic of fake news

This supporter who was retweeted appears to make an argument specifically dealing with the Trump Tower project in Moscow investigated by BuzzFeed

This supporter who was retweeted appears to make an argument specifically dealing with the Trump Tower project in Moscow investigated by BuzzFeed

This supporter who was retweeted appears to make an argument specifically dealing with the Trump Tower project in Moscow investigated by BuzzFeed

 It was at this point that President Trump issued his first direct response to the special counsel’s dispute with the BuzzFeed story on Twitter before going on to retweet twice more and cap off the night with a final direct tweet

Geraldo River was the last personality to get retweeted by President Trump expressing his own defense of the president and disdain for his detractors

Geraldo River was the last personality to get retweeted by President Trump expressing his own defense of the president and disdain for his detractors

Geraldo River was the last personality to get retweeted by President Trump expressing his own defense of the president and disdain for his detractors

‘Riddled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations’: Jason Leopold’s colorful journalism career 

Jason Leopold is the senior investigative journalist for BuzzFeed who has worked with Anthony Cormier reporting on the Trump Tower Moscow project.

He nickname ‘FOIA Terrorist’ comes from a reputation for breaking stories from information found in Freedom of Information Act submissions.

Leopold previously worked for or contributed to VICE News, Al Jazeera, The Guardian,  LA Times, Truthout.org and Salon.  In 2006 he wrote a book that detailed his battle with mental illness and suicide attempts, and also lying to employers about a larceny conviction on his record once.

With BuzzFeed standing by the article, Leopold and his partner Cormier are still heading the Trump/Russia beat.

  • 2006 – Leopold working for Truthout.org reported Karl Rove’s indictment over the Valerie Plame affair was ‘imminent’ but the Bush staffer never faced any charges  
  • 2002 – Salon.com removed a story Leopold wrote as a freelancer saying it was ‘riddled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations’ while also saying the piece contained ‘an instance of plagiarism’ 

 

 Trump’s Twitter feed eclectically addresses the allegation against BuzzFeed while also taking time out to retweet Sebastian Gorka posting a photo of Trump’s inauguration, and podcaster Bongino asserting Trump’s job approval among Latinos is up during the government shutdown. 

When Trump does get back to the issue of BuzzFeed, he retweeted his campaign manager Brad Parscale who retweeted Trump’s son further attacking ‘fake news stories.’  Retweeting the 

Earlier, Ronan Farrow had tweeted his own misgivings about the BuzzFeed story, writing, ‘I can’t speak to Buzzfeed’s sourcing, but, for what it’s worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.  

CNN also wrote earlier that the former former Los Angeles Times, Dow Jones, and Vice News reporter Jason Leopold had a ‘checkered past’ when it came to accuracy of his reports during the George W. Bush administration, prior to the Mueller office statement. 

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, has been gleefully firing off tweets about the news outlet retweeting the Mueller office rebuttal with nothing but a series of ‘crying laughing’ emojis, and retweeting another post that had made the statement that either Trump is finished or BuzzFeed is with the comment ‘You were saying??’ 

Since the statement put out by Mueller’s office, the eldest son of President Trump has been tweeting and retweeting rapidly taking shots at BuzzFeed and other media outlets reporting around the story including The Daily Beast and CNN.

For its part, CNN had written an article about one of the two reporters who published the Cohen story, Jason Leopold, calling 

The bombshell report claimed the president directed Cohen to lie in his testimony to Congress about a Trump Organization tower deal in Moscow that continued through the summer of 2016.

The report, if true, would constitute subornation of perjury – a felony crime. Obstruction of justice was the first order of impeachment against President Richard Nixon.   

But Trump blasted his former lawyer and fixer Cohen on Friday as a liar who was ‘trying to reduce his jail time’ when he reportedly told Special Counsel Robert Mueller that a scheme to build a Trump Tower project in Moscow extended through the 2016 Republican National Convention and into the months before Trump became president-elect.

Michael Cohen arrives home to his apartment in New York City. The longtime Trump lawyer appeared to have his arm in a sling and had a pillow on top of his arm

Michael Cohen arrives home to his apartment in New York City. The longtime Trump lawyer appeared to have his arm in a sling and had a pillow on top of his arm

Michael Cohen arrives home to his apartment in New York City. The longtime Trump lawyer appeared to have his arm in a sling and had a pillow on top of his arm

Earlier Friday Cohen returned to his Manhattan apartment Friday after getting medical treatment – with his arm appearing to be in a sling on a day President Trump and his team once again branded him a liar. 

Cohen advisor Lanny Davis said Cohen had gone into the hospital for pre-scheduled shoulder surgery. 

Cohen could be seen with his left arm covered, hanging in a sling. He was holding a full-size white pillow against his body. His right hand had a small bandage of the kind used to cover a small wound by an IV. 

He also wore a red identification bracelet of the kind distributed by hospitals. 

 

 

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