President Trump said on Saturday that he appreciates the special FBI lawyer, Robert Mueller, who published a statement in which he disputes parts of a BuzzFeed news report that states that Trump ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the timing of the discussions. about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow.
"I thought that the BuzzFeed piece, and maybe as bad as BuzzFeed's false story coverage, was a totally false story, and I appreciate the special advice that came out with a statement last night, I think it was appropriate that they did it, I appreciate, "he told reporters.
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"I think the BuzzFeed piece was an embarrbadment for our country, it was a shame for journalism and I also think that the coverage of the main media was shameful and I think it will take a long time for the mainstream media to recover your credibility. " , "he continued," a tremendous credibility has been lost. "
BuzzFeed published the story on Thursday, citing two law enforcement officials who said that Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, acknowledged in Mueller's office that he was told to lie to Congress about the possible real estate deal in Moscow, and told him. He told Congress that the negotiations ended months before they did so to hide Trump's participation.
The article says that Cohen's testimony "marks a significant new frontier: it is the first known example of Trump that explicitly tells a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia."
BuzzFeed also reported that Trump backed a plan, created by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in person and begin negotiations.
Mueller's team is investigating Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 elections and rarely issues statements on the status of the investigation or reports in dispute in the press.
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But on Friday, after the Democrats called for investigations and hinted at impeachment proceedings, the special lawyer's office made the extraordinary decision to publish a statement contending the article.
"BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the office of the special advisor and the characterization of the documents and testimony obtained by this office, with respect to the testimony of Michael Cohen's Congress are not accurate," said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the office. Mueller He did not offer more details about what he was arguing about.
BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith then tweeted that "we endorse our report and the sources that informed it, and we urge the Special Adviser to clarify what he is disputing."
The Trump team had also denied the claims in the article. Triumph he said himself Friday night that the controversy was "a very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our country".
Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also praised Mueller's office on Friday for "correcting the false Buzzfeed story" and asked the press to pay attention to his hysterical desire to destroy this president who has gone too far. "
In a statement Saturday afternoon, BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal doubled in defense of the organization of his reports.
"As we have reconfirmed our reports, we have not seen any indication that any specific aspect of our history is inaccurate, we continue to trust what we have reported and will share more as much as possible," he said.
Alex Pappas, of Brooke Singman, of Fox News. Ben Florence and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.