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Mueller Sought Evidence of BuzzFeed Story, 'Found None'

'Washington Post' takes a look at what led to special counsel's extraordinary rebuttal
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2019 11:03 AM CST
In this June 21, 2017, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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(Newser) – In the days since BuzzFeed's dizzying report that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, Robert Mueller's office issued a statement saying the report was "not accurate," and clarity doesn't appear to be emerging. The Washington Post takes a look at what drove Mueller's office to take such an extraordinary step and notes that it began innocently enough with Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declining comment ahead of the story's publication—not realizing the allegation that "the president personally instructed (Cohen) to lie." Mueller's office reviewed its evidence for anything to support that allegation, sources tell the Post, and "found none." That review, in part, explains the nearly day-long delay in issuing the dispute, though the special counsel's office was unclear about which parts of the report were inaccurate. Elsewhere:

  • Though BuzzFeed is standing by its story, whether its "reporting can stand up to further scrutiny is now at the center of a test of the news media’s credibility," writes Michael Grynbaum at the New York Times.
  • Over at Fox News, Vice President Mike Pence took aim at the "obsession of many in the national media to attack this president for any reason, for any allegation. ... It's one of the reasons why people are so frustrated with many in the national media."
  • Rudy Giuliani tells CNN that he doesn't know if Trump talked with Cohen about testifying to Congress, and that "it may be attorney-client privilege if it happened, where I can't acknowledge it. But I have no knowledge that he spoke to him." Further, "so what if he talked to him about it?"
(Read more Robert Mueller stories.)

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