Mueller Blows Up BuzzFeed ‘Bombshell’
Robert Mueller has killed BuzzFeed and the media’s buzz. He’s made it clear: President Trump did not order former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. Say that slowly: “President Trump did not order former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.”
On Thursday night, BuzzFeed set loose a frenzy. They quoted two anonymous law enforcement officials as saying Trump had ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. BuzzFeed claimed there were documents, emails and testimony from members of the Trump organization that backed up the claim.
For twenty-four hours, CNN, MSNBC and all the mainstream media outlets ran with the story like it was the Olympic torch set to light to Trump presidency on fire. Democratic politicians were dancing like the Munchkins when Dorothy dropped her house on the Wicked Witch. Tweets declaring “Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress” rained down on Twitter like confetti on New Year’s Eve.
But it was a lie.
Robert Mueller Sets the Record Straight
Last night, Robert Mueller did something he had not done in two years of leaks, spins, false stories and fake news out of the Special Counsel’s office. His office issued a flat-out denial of the BuzzFeed story.
“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.”
So, they got the basic facts wrong. The characterization that Trump ordered Cohen to lie is false.
The story was suspicious from the outset. First off, why would Trump have Cohen lie about something that was perfectly legal for Trump to do? And do it in writing? The White House, of course, called the story ridiculous.
Second, no other outlet could confirm the story, for example Ronan Farrow with a “central source to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.”
Third, Cohen’s lawyer (and Clinton sycophant) Lanny Davis repeated refused to confirm or deny the story. He just insisted Cohen was not the source of the story.
Fourth, the two BuzzFeed reporters didn’t even agree on whether they had actually seen the documents in question.
Fifth, one of those reporters, Jason Leopold, has a colorful history of false and fake stories, particularly ones targeting Republican presidents and staff. As CNN reported, Leopold “was involved in several major scandals that called into question the veracity of his reporting during George W. Bush’s presidency.”
Sixth … well, we’ll get to that in a minute.
BuzzFeed Doubles Down
BuzzFeed has doubled down. They are standing by their story. They are standing by their sources. They are, in effect, calling Mueller a liar. BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief ran to the friendly confines of CNN to declare Mueller’s statement “vague,” demanding, “We really urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.”
Uh, Mueller’s saying you misrepresented the facts, misstated the testimony and mischaracterized the whole shebang. Nothing vague about it.
So What’s Really Going On?
So what’s really going on?
Think context: Robert Mueller is finishing up his report. Warnings abound that Mueller’s report will be a letdown. In other words, there’s nothing on Trump. ABC’s Jonathan Karl was even on The View breaking the hearts of Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, et al., telling them there is “zero evidence” Trump or his campaign was involved with Russia.
Further, sources told CNN in December the Mueller probe was launched to “rein in” Trump. The bureau’s desperation was revealed plainly in last week’s New York Times article on how the anti-Trump FBI cabal launched another counter-terrorism probe into Trump after James Comey’s firing.
There was also the revelation that a U.S. Attorney in Connecticut is conducting a criminal investigation into former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Connecticut? We knew about U.S. District Attorney John Huber working on the DOJ Inspector General referrals out in Utah. But there’s another U.S. District Attorney far from the D.C. Swamp as well?
And then, truly the week’s big bombshell: The revelation that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr testified he had told top brass at FBI and DOJ, flat-out and early on, that the Steele Dossier was unverified, was the work product of the Democratic campaign, and that foreign agent Christopher Steele was desperately trying to stop Trump. And yet, without a spot of evidence to back up Steele’s claims, the FBI and DOJ raced ahead to get illicit FISA warrants on Carter Page, so as to spy on the Trump campaign.
What’s more, four of the people he told … who knew the truth … ended up in top positions on Mueller’s Special Counsel staff.
In the End Game
So here’s my read on it: We’re in the end game.
How bad do these people want Trump? How desperate are they to have something, anything, they can point to justify their seditious behavior? How much do they want to muddy the waters and tar Trump? At this point, what do they have to lose by leaking this Cohen-Trump Tower story? The Mueller investigation’s about to close shop. William Barr is ready to take over as Attorney General and take names. And the DOJ Inspector General investigation into the DOJ/FBI antics in the Trump-Russia is looming, ready to reveal all.
(Note that the Cohen story has zero to do with the fundamental claim for two years that Trump colluded with Russia to impact the 2016 election.)
The point is, Mueller’s Report will have nothing on President Trump. But the partisans on his team aren’t giving up. As they did in this case, they will leak tidbits of twisted information gathered during the two years of digging into every crevice of Trump’s life. Those leaks will be used by their allies on Capitol Hill and pals in the media as justification for countless investigations and allegations.
You will hear Adam Schiff declare that Mueller’s investigation into those tidbits “did not go far enough and we must dig further to find the truth!” Nancy Pelosi, from whatever island hotspot she happens to visiting at the time on our dime, will declare it the “moral” thing to do. The impeachment push will run over Mueller’s clearing of Trump like the townspeople over Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House.
For two years, it’s been “Mueller, Mueller, Mueller” over at CNN and MSNBC.
Last night, for the first time, Robert Mueller called out a fake news story emerging from his office.
Very soon those very same hosts and pundits will be asking “Who’s Robert Mueller?”