Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation clearly contradicts BuzzFeed’s assertions about the Trump Tower Moscow project.
The story, entitled “President Trump Directed His Attorney To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project,” was published by BuzzFeed News on January 17. It supposedly recounts “the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.”
It claims that President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, “told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.”
The story further claims that Mueller’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.” It goes on to say, “Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.”
But according to the newly released report:
Cohen said that he and the President did not explicitly discuss whether Cohen’s testimony about the Trump Tower Moscow project would be or was false, and the President did not direct him to provide false testimony. Cohen also said he did not tell the President about the specifics of his planned testimony.
Though it does conclude that while “the President knew Cohen provided false testimony to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project,” the implications are no more than that. “The evidence available to us does not establish that the President directed or aided Cohen’s false testimony,” it said.
At the time of its writing, a representative for the investigation said the BuzzFeed exposé was “not accurate,” but the outlet refused to back down. “The same sources that we used in the story are standing behind it, and so are we,” the outlet further stated.
BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal has thus far declined to comment on the matter.