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Home / US / The Mueller team's decision to question Buzzfeed's explosive story about Trump and Cohen

The Mueller team's decision to question Buzzfeed's explosive story about Trump and Cohen



When a BuzzFeed reporter first searched For the explosive report in the newsletters that President Trump had instructed his lawyer to lie to Congress, spokesman for Special Representative Robert S. Muller III addressed the request like almost every other story.

The reporter informed Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr that he and a colleague "have a story that states that Michael Cohen was ordered by President Trump himself to lie to Congress about his Trump-Moscow project negotiations ", according to the copies of their emails, which were provided by a Buzzfeed spokesman. Importantly, the reporter did not refer to either the Office of the Special Representative, or specifically to evidence discovered by Müller's investigators.

"We will reject any comment," Carr replied, a familiar reference for those who deal with Müller's work. 19659007] The harmless barter refuted the chaos he was creating. When BuzzFeed published the story hours later, she surpassed Carr's first impression, the people who were familiar with the matter said in the report that Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and self-described fixer, claimed, "the Special Representative said, after the The President personally instructed him to "lie," and Müller's office learned of the policy "through interviews with several Trump Trial Witnesses and internal emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents" (19659008) The Office a particular lawyer, that was wrong, said two persons who were familiar with the matter and talked about the condition of anonymity to discuss internal consultations. As the Democrats lifted the ghost of investigation and impeachment, Mueller's team began to discuss a move they had never taken before: the public debate controversial reports of evidence in their ongoing investigation.

Within 24 hours of the publication of the story, the Special Prosecutor's Office issued a report statement to do just that. Trump, who called the media "the enemy of the people", on Saturday pointed to the claim of the special representative as evidence of what he sees as journalist discrimination against him.

"I think the Buzzfeed figure was a disgrace to our country, it was a shame for journalism, and I also think the coverage in the mainstream media was a shame and I think it will take a long time Until the mainstream media regains their credibility, "Trump said Saturday," It's losing credibility tremendously, and believe me, that hurts me when I see that. "

Buzzfeed has stuck to the news

"Once again confirming our coverage, we have found no indication that any particular aspect of our story is inaccurate, remain confident in what we have reported, and will, as soon as we can "Share more with you," said Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for the news agency, on Saturday would have kept the reporters from continuing with the story, if he had known that Cohen the probe ranwalt had instructed Trump to lie – or that the Special Adviser would have learned this through interviews with Trump's Witnesses as internal e-mails and text messages.

Carr declined to comment on this story beyond the Special Representative's statement published on Friday.

After declining to speak to Buzzfeed, Carr sent a snapshot copy of Cohen's hearing, in which Cohen confessed, to the congress on the timing of the discussions surrounding a potential Trump Tower project lied to the e-mails from Buzzfeed's spokesman in Moscow. Cohen had falsely claimed that the company's efforts to build the tower ended in January 2016 when talks resumed in June this year, when Trump won the Republican presidential nomination.

"I made these false statements to agree with those of Political News of Individual 1 and of Loyalty to Individual 1," Cohen said at his last hearing late last year, using the term "Individual 1" to refer to Trump

Carr, says Leopold Note that Cohen did not say in the hearing that Trump had specifically asked him to lie, but Leopold, who co-authored the story with reporter Anthony Cormier, said that Spokesman for not accepting any signals, and Carr confirms the point.

"I do not read what you have sent and interpreted it as FYI." Leopold wrote.

"Right, just an info," Carr replied.

One person in the Trump organization said a BuzzFeed reporter also spoke hours before publishing the story with a lawyer, warning the story was flawed and should be Mittenthal said, "We trust our sources in the organization, which is still run by Donald Trump's family, which is directly linked to allegations in connection with the Trump Tower Moscow project and refused for our

The language used by Cohen and his representatives in court had been ambiguous, and Cohen had been found guilty in two cases-one of congressional lies regarding the Moscow project and another in which Violations of the silence on women claiming alleged affairs with Trump have been financially violated.

Wed he Cohen nor his representatives had ever explicitly said that Trump instructed Cohen to lie to Congress co-lawyer Guy Petrillo, before he was convicted in a memo, said: "We are talking collectively about the allegations of campaign finance and false statements because both came from Michael's fierce loyalty to the customer. 1. In any case, the behavior of client-1 should benefit according to the instructions of client-1.

Client-1 refers to Trump. Petrillo declined comment on Saturday. It is not clear which "guidelines" Petrillo referred to, although elsewhere in the note he did not claim that Trump had specifically told Cohen to lie to Congress. He said Cohen was "in close and regular contact with White House staff and client-1 legal counsel" as he prepared and "specifically knew" his statement. , , Client-1 and its public speakers endeavored to present contact with any Russian representatives through Client-1, the Campaign, or the Trump organization as if it had actually been terminated prior to the Iowa meetings of February 1, 2016 ,

After Buzzfeed published its story on the matter that was attributed to "two prosecutors of law enforcement agencies involved in an investigation of the matter," the special adviser's office reviewed the evidence to determine if there were any documents or witness interviews those described gave those that they thought might be involved in the case.

They did not find any, said these people. People said that Mueller's office took almost a day to publicly test the story. Meanwhile, cable news outlets and other media organizations, including the Washington Post, investigated the potential impact – even as their reporters failed to confirm it on their own.

It has been reported that the Special Adviser has found no support for the story, Mittenthal The BuzzFeed spokesman said, "Our senior law enforcement agencies have helped to provide the months-long accurate coverage of the Trump Tower Moscow deal and its aftermath confirm, have said something else. We expect further clarification from the Special Adviser in the near future. "

Two persons familiar with the matter said lawyers in the Special Advisory Bureau had discussed the statement internally instead of exchanging views with the Ministry of Justice for much of the day. In the later stages of these talks, the Deputy Prosecutor General's Office called to ask if the Special Adviser had any kind of response, and was informed that a statement was being prepared, people said.

At 19:30. On Friday Carr distributed her by e-mail to numerous media.

"Buzzfeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office and the characterization of documents and testimonies that this office has received regarding Congressman Michael Cohen's statements in Congress," he wrote to people involved with the matter The Special Representative's office said that the statement rejected the central theses of Buzzfeed history – particularly those referring to what Cohen had told the Special Representative and what evidence the Special Envoy had collected

Buzzfeed, however, claimed that the language was not specific, which was challenged.

"We stand by our reporting and the sources that informed them, and we call on the Special Adviser to clarify what he is denying. BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith said in response to the special lawyer's statement.

Cohen has not been clear from the coverage of BuzzFeed and BuzzFeed h, he was not a source for his story. Cohen Legal and Communications Advisor Lanny J. Davis said before issuing the Special Adviser's statement, "Out of respect for Mr. Müller's investigations and the Special Adviser's office, Mr. Cohen refused to answer the questions, as did Reporter and myself. "He declined to speak after the Special Representative's office published the statement.

Cohen declined to comment on Saturday.

Shane Harris and Tom Hamburger contributed to the report.


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