President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen. [BuzzFeed]
TRUMP has had his worst week since Putin helped put him in the White House.
Long before Rudy ruined the “no collusion” talking point on CNN, which foreshadowed something big was coming…
The reporting from BuzzFeed marks a dangerous turn in the Russia story for the Trump family.
But Cohen’s testimony marks a significant new frontier: It is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.
It strains credulity that Don, Jr., Ivanka, Eric Trump, and Jared Kushner didn’t know about these lies.
But the accidental occupant of the White House has one problem he didn’t expect. He didn’t know that William Barr was friends with Robert Mueller, let alone respected him so much.
One more important fact: the BuzzFeed report is not based on Michael Cohen. He reportedly solidified what Mueller and his team already knew.
UPDATE (1.20): BuzzFeed’s Smith and reporter Cormier on CNN today standing by their story, with help from Rudy Giuliani.
Scene: Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat telling Robert Redford (Bob Woodward) that he & Bernstein overreached BUT didn’t get the foundational charge wrong. #AllThePresidentsMen #TrumpRussia https://t.co/Ojp95q9L2j
— Taylor Marsh (@taylormarsh) January 20, 2019
UPDATE: The Office of Special Counsel shocked everyone into disbelief by revealing they’re pissed off at someone. EiC of BuzzFeed Ben Smith stands by the story. But Ronan Farrow tweeted he had parts of the story but ran into a source who pushed back hard. It sounds like a problem for BuzzFeed.
In response to the statement tonight from the Special Counsel's spokesman: We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he's disputing.
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) January 19, 2019
I'm totally calm about this.
The Mueller statement talks about the *characterization* being wrong, not the content. This isn't a sweeping "no."
They *declined comment* on the front end and issued a wordsmithed statement.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) January 19, 2019