An angry Rudy Giuliani, one of POTUS Donald Trump’s personal lawyers, took to Twitter Friday to demand that the Justice Department reveal who leaked information from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office to Buzzfeed News claiming that his client instructed onetime “fixer” attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
Following the Buzzfeed report, which claimed that the president told Cohen to lie about a potential Trump Tower deal in Moscow, the special counsel’s office took the rare step of issuing a statement denying the accuracy of the report.
“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 the statement by the Special Counsel, which was later clarified by the Washington Postto mean the entire report.
WASHINGTON POST: “Mueller’s denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that NONE of the statements in the Buzzfeed story are accurate.” https://t.co/vS6P6evJDc
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) January 19, 2019
Giuliani complimented Mueller’s office for “correcting the BuzzFeed false story that Pres. Trump encouraged cohen to lie.” But he then called for the DoJ to “reveal the leakers of this false BuzzFeed story which the press and Democrats gleefully embraced.”
I commend Bob Mueller’s office for correcting the BuzzFeed false story that Pres. Trump encouraged Cohen to lie. I ask the press to take heed that their hysterical desire to destroy this President has gone too far. They pursued this without critical analysis all day. #FAKENEWS
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 19, 2019
“Now the DOJ must reveal the leakers of this false BuzzFeed story which the press and Democrats gleefully embraced. And maybe House Dems should wait to investigate until the Mueller report is filed. 4 have started already.There may be nothing to legitimately investigate,” he added.
Now the DOJ must reveal the leakers of this false BuzzFeed story which the press and Democrats gleefully embraced. And maybe House Dems should wait to investigate until the Mueller report is filed. 4 have started already.There may be nothing to legitimately investigate.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 19, 2019
POTUS Trump also slammed Buzzfeed and reminded his 57.5 million followers: “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!”
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! A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 19, 2019
BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith has publicly defended his reporters said in a statement that the outlet stands “by our reporting and the sources who informed it,” and called on Mueller “to make clear what he’s disputing.”
Specifically, Buzzfeed reported:
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.
Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.
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.
These key details in the story, which was written by Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold, have not only been vehemently denied by the White House, they’ve been questioned by other news outlets and political pundits alike who note that the claims don’t stand up to scrutiny.
For his part, Leopold has been called out before — at least twice — for fabricating sources.
In June 2006, the Columbia Journalism Review accused him of being “sourceless again” after having his memoir canceled by a publisher:
We wonder if the folks over at Truthout.org are rethinking their affiliation with reporter and serial fabulist Jason Leopold. Leopold, you may recall, is the freelance reporter who was caught making stuff up in a 2002 Salon.com article, self-admittedly “getting it completely wrong” in pieces for Dow Jones, and had his own memoir cancelled because of concerns over the accuracy of quotations.
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