The Buzzfeed story causing major controversy on Friday, pieces of which were refuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office later the same day, has both sides of the aisle taking sides. For their part, Buzzfeed reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier stand by their story.
BuzzFeed reporter Anthony Cormier defended on Friday his blockbuster story revealing that President Donald Trump allegedly asked Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
Appearing on CNN’s… https://t.co/neT0oHekUy
— I Am a Liberal TMDD (@IAmALiberalTMDD) January 18, 2019
Cormier appeared on CNN’s New Day with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman to say that he stands behind his reporting and that the story is absolutely true. He also said that his sources were not solely the two federal law enforcement agents who went on record to confirm the report.
‘My sourcing goes beyond the two on the record. This is a thing that happened.’
“We have seen documents. We have been briefed on documents. We are very confident in our reporting," BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold, who co-wrote bombshell new report, says. pic.twitter.com/5RXOx8rvo0
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 18, 2019
Although Cormier admitted that he had not personally seen the documentary evidence cited in the story, his co-author, Jason Leopold, said that he had. Many new questions arose regarding the discrepancy between the two. Had Leopold and others seen them but not Cormier, or was Leopold simply not ready to confess that no documentary evidence had been offered? It’s a point that will surely require more clarification over time.
Q for @a_cormier_ & @JasonLeopold: I see a (possible) discrepancy. Asked about evidence for your story, Anthony told CNN "I’ve not seen it personally." Jason told MSNBC: "We have seen documents." Did Jason misspeak, or is he referring to documents separate from this story? pic.twitter.com/ZtMlMoSgaI
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) January 18, 2019
Some parts of the story have already been confirmed, some even by Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump. She issued a statement on Friday confirming the details of the Trump Tower Moscow piece, saying that they happened but that she did not know about them until later.
Trump and Rudy Giuliani, when asked, did not say that there was no way the documents or the other sources existed because Trump had never issued these orders to Cohen. Both insisted that Cohen is simply a liar, although Cohen wasn’t listed as a source for the story. Trump even went so far as to attempt witness intimidation by intimating that Cohen’s father-in-law is a criminal who needs to be “looked at” if Cohen continues to testify against Trump.
Note that the general thrust of Cohen lying to Congress “in accordance with” or “to support and advance” Trump’s agenda (per Cohen’s legal memo) is not in dispute. The source disputed the further, more specific idea that Trump issued—and memorialized—repeated direct instructions.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 19, 2019
The details are not yet clear, but Americans waiting to find out the conclusion to this entire story will just have to be patient. Mueller’s office will say no more before the proper time comes to do so.
Featured image via Twitter video