President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani reportedly reached out to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office after BuzzFeed News published its story alleging Trump had ordered his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow.
“BuzzFeed reported that its sources had seen texts, emails and other documents confirming the allegations that Trump directed Cohen to mislead lawmakers about the timing of discussions with Russian government officials over a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow, though BuzzFeed’s reporters never saw the evidence for themselves,” according to Fox News.
Giuliani charged that the reason the reporters cannot produce the texts, emails and other documents is because they do not exist.
“There are no texts and emails or other documents to corroborate BuzzFeed’s claim for the simple reason that it is not true,” Giuliani told Fox.
“Whoever is responsible for this is lying.”
In a rare move, the special counsel’s office refuted BuzzFeed’s story after it ignited a frenzy of speculation among congressional Democrats and members of the media about whether this could be the smoking gun that leads to Trump’s impeachment.
“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,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, told The Washington Post.
The BuzzFeed reporters responsible for the story — Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold — are sticking by it.
“We’re being told to stand our ground. Our reporting is going to be borne out to be accurate, and we’re 100% behind it,” Cormier told CNN on Sunday.
Trump weighed into the controversy himself, telling reporters on Saturday, “I think that the BuzzFeed piece was a disgrace to our country.”
“It was a disgrace to journalism, and I think also that the coverage by the mainstream media was disgraceful, and I think it’s going to take a long time for the mainstream media to recover its credibility,” The Washington Post reported.
“I appreciate the special counsel coming out with a statement last night,” he added. “I think it was very appropriate that they did so; I very much appreciate that.”
Giuliani told Fox News that Trump “had several conversations with Michael Cohen about the Trump Tower (Moscow) proposal. Cohen said the effort ended in January of 2016, and as far as President Trump knows, it ended then.”
In November, Trump called Cohen a “weak person,” after the attorney pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about when negotiations for the proposed Trump Tower project ended.
“He was convicted of various things unrelated to us. He was given a fairly long jail sentence and he is a weak person,” Trump said.
WATCH: President Trump says his former attorney Michael Cohen is “a weak person” and “not a very smart person,” after Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements https://t.co/vEE5vZwqpw pic.twitter.com/avuaV9mT0B
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 29, 2018
“And, by being weak, unlike other people that you watch … what he is trying to do is get a reduced sentence, so he is lying about a project that everybody knew about. I mean, we were very open with it.”
Trump further contended as a real estate developer and still a private citizen, “If I did do it, there would have been nothing wrong.
“That was my business,” he said.
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