Robert Mueller’s office offered a vague denial to Buzzfeed’s ‘bombshell’ exclusive


As we discussed on Friday, Buzzfeed had an interesting exclusive about Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney. Buzzfeed’s sources claimed that Michael Cohen had told the special counsel’s office that Donald Trump directed him to lie to Congress about “the Moscow Project,” aka the plans for a Trump Tower Moscow. It’s been established that ALL of Trumps lied a lot about their dealings with the Russian government and Russian business interests during the campaign and during the administration. It’s also been established that all of Trump’s former and current associates lie all the time.

Buzzfeed’s report was basically one new wrinkle about one particular thing, the whole “Trump ordered Cohen to lie” issue. If true – and if provable – it would be an impeachable offense, which almost seems like a quaint idea at this point. The problem, as I said on Friday, was that Cohen is saying he lied under oath, and he therefore has no credibility (“he told me to lie,” says admitted perjurer). As it turns out, there’s another problem. The spokesperson for the Mueller investigation offered a rare and vague denial of Buzzfeed’s exclusive:

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office on Friday denied an explosive report by BuzzFeed News that his investigators had gathered evidence showing President Trump directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a prospective business deal in Moscow.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller.

The statement was remarkable on several levels — first, the special counsel’s office speaks exceedingly rarely, and second, the statement seemed to drive a stake through a sensational allegation that Democratic lawmakers suggested earlier in the day could spell the end of the Trump presidency. As earthshaking as the claims in the story were, no other media organizations were able to match them.

[From The Washington Post]

From what little we know of what’s actually happening IN THE ROOM of the special counsel’s office, we can tell that Mueller runs a tight ship, and that they obviously know so much more than they’ve even released publicly. There are tons of theories and political commentaries on why Mueller’s spokesperson knocked down THIS report, and what it’s all about. Your guess is a good as mine, but I’m giving both Buzzfeed AND the special counsel’s office the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think Buzzfeed would have climbed out onto that limb, alone, based on nothing. I also think that Mueller has set many traps for various people, and sometimes those traps aren’t going to look like traps in the moment. But because everyone involved in the Trump orbit is profoundly stupid, we get tweets like this:

Imagine for a second believing that Trump is some kind of authority on credibility. Imagine believing all of his lies for even one moment. And yes, Buzzfeed did have the exclusive on the Steele Dossier… huge chunks of which are still being proven with each passing day. And no, the Russian probe isn’t based on the Steele Dossier. It’s based on the fact that Trump couldn’t even pretend to NOT BE A RUSSIAN ASSET. So what is Mueller doing? I suspect it’s a little bit of “here kitty kitty…”

Trump Participates in a Missile Defense Review

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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28 Responses to “Robert Mueller’s office offered a vague denial to Buzzfeed’s ‘bombshell’ exclusive”

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  1. onerous says:

    Well according to WaPo, the DOJ basically asked the Special Counsel to issue a statement…

    There’s just not a believability issue here for me. Trump absolutely did this.

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    Not accurate and not true are very different things.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      To add Trump is getting fatter and more orange every day – he is literally turning into an Orange Jabba the Hut before our eyes. He is a monster inside and out.

    • Enormous Coat says:

      @Digital Unicorn. Exactly. Disputing parts of the report is not the same as saying it’s all a lie.

    • Megan says:

      I think Trump’s response to the Buzzfeed article is more telling. His people did not categorically deny it. Instead, they attacked Cohen’s credibility. Buzzfeed may not have had the details exactly right, but I think Trump, Cohen, Jr and Barbie all worked together to fabricate a story about the talks with Russia and Mueller has all the receipts.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Excellent point.

    • Megan says:

      Guiliani is message testing that Trump and Cohen did discuss Cohen’s testimony and that the Trump Tower Moscow talks lasted until November 2016. Nice to see they are completely undermining the denial from the SC’s office.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Yep, that was a very carefully specific denial of a subpart of the report….

    • Muffy says:

      Right. Seems the source for this was SDNY, and that the attribution to Muellers office is incorrect, not the facts presented.

    • Muffy says:

      Right. Seems the source for this was SDNY, and that the attribution to Muellers office is incorrect, not the facts presented.

  3. Incredulous says:

    This article here – seems to hit the nail on the head and is absolutely worth the read.

    • Olenna says:

      Thank you for that link. I totally understand why everything Mueller and his team do with these criminals must be beyond all legal reproach. It’s just sad to think he may only be able to take down drumpf’s family and cronies before that POS’s term is over.

    • C-Shell says:

      Thank you! That was fascinating and explains a great deal about Meuller’s probable strategy. I sooo want to see Don Jr. indicted.

    • Lindy says:

      Thanks for sharing this–I’ll definitely keep her site bookmarked. Really astute analysis!

  4. Jerusha says:

    Saying it’s not accurate is not the same as saying it’s wholly untrue.

    • jessamine says:

      Exactly … and I read an interesting, smart-seeming take that Mueller’s team might have made this statement to make it clear that the leak came from the SDNY *not* his team as Cohen is cooperating with both.

  5. Busyann says:

    “Here kitty kitty”….literally threw my head back and laughed when I read that one. Thanks Kaiser!

    • FC says:

      Yep. Mueller is publicly discrediting minor details in the Buzzfeed article to bait Trump into lying. It will work too, because he’s acting like the cat that ate the canary.

  6. Call_me_al says:

    Love the pic of Mueller looking cheerful!

  7. RBC says:

    Mueller probably has a bombshell that will put Buzzfeed’s exclusive to shame. When he is ready to show is hand, 45 and company will not know what hit them. It will be worth the wait

  8. MrsBanjo says:

    “Not accurate.” That’s very specific. It also isn’t the same as saying it’s not true. I wouldn’t be surprised if Toddler-In-Chief threw a temper tantrum so Mueller’s office issued the statement so they could quietly keep working.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    This denial seems strategic, and very carefully worded.
    At this point I won’t be surprised by just about anything that comes out.

  10. Rapunzel says:

    Lol at all the Trumpsters touting Mueller’s honesty and integrity after spending months calling him a dirty cop and angry Dem.

    He got extension on his investigation recently. If you think that was to go fishing, you trippin’. The investigation was extended because they’ve got a case and they need more time to get the ducks in a row. The sundae is made, and Mueller is just getting the cherry to put on top. That’s the only explanation for the extension, but Trump and his base are too dumb to understand that.

    • Esmom says:

      I know, right? Such predictability from the right.

      Fingers crossed that Mueller will be able to wrap up an airtight case.

  11. Themummy says:

    No, he did not issue a denial at all. He issued statement that said There were in accuracies in the story. there was actually no denial. It was very carefully worded that way. Your headline is in accurate.

  12. BuddyJack says:

    I have no doubt that trump instructed Cohen to lie, but I do doubt there is an expanse of hard documentary evidence to support that as the BF article claimed. Even Dumb and Dumber know better than that. Mueller doesn’t comment, so I doubt he is going to issue a statement that later he will defend by parsing it. I’m afraid there is something fundamentally wrong in the BF story and Mueller needed to nip it before it became a time wasting congressional distraction. Would love to be wrong, but for them to issue that type of statement…it must be a rock solid statement, or else his final report will lose credibility if he needs to parse prior statements. Sorry, would love to be wrong here.

  13. Rapunzel says:

    There are, btw, two major indications that the BF story must be substantially true, and that Mueller issued a statement as correction rather than refutation.

    First big indication the story has truth: The WH did not issue an actual denial until after Mueller’s statement. Clear indicator that they were scared until they could hide behind Mueller’s carefully chosen words.

    Second huge indicator that the story hit a truth nerve: Trump tweeted/retweeted like crazy about it being “fake.” Trump only gets this worked up about “fake news” which has exposed his actual crimes/incompetence.

  14. TheOriginalTania says:

    It’s insane guys. You literally have a Russian asset as President. WTF.