Mueller's Team Blasts BuzzFeed's Trump 'Bombshell' As 'Not Accurate'

President Donald Trump's former personal attorney exits the United States Courthouse after sentencing at the in New York

Speaking to reporters at the White House, the president said: "I appreciate the special counsel coming out with a statement last night".

What BuzzFeed was alleging occurred would then be a second instance of Cohen's illegal activity implicating Trump in a crime.

"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", wrote special counsel spokesman Peter Carr.

The Daily Wire noted on Thursday that in 2017 the "embattled Cohen famously pleaded guilty to falsely testifying to Senate and House intelligence committees about when his negotiations over a potential Trump Tower Moscow project ended; rather than January 2016, as he originally claimed, the negotiations went on months longer".

A day after the report published, Mueller's office disputed it as "not accurate". Other senior White House aides refused to offer straightforward denials.

The ex-fixer is scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on February 7, when Democrats hope he will spill embarrassing details from his time working for Trump.

Cohen, who once said he was so loyal to Mr Trump that he would "take a bullet" for him, is due to begin a three-year prison sentence in March after pleading guilty to numerous charges including campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress. He added that we now "don't even have to wonder if it's an impeachable offense".

BuzzFeed's editor, Ben Smith, wrote on Friday night that the news site stands by its story.

So, to be clear, Mueller is not stating the story itself, that the President told Cohen to lie to Congress, is false.

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Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said "President Trump must resign or be impeached" if the report is true.

In a story published Thursday, BuzzFeed cited two unnamed federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation on the matter who said Cohen acknowledged to Mueller's office that he was instructed by Trump in 2017 to lie to Congress about the now-abandoned real estate deal to build a Trump Tower in Russian Federation.

"We remain confident in the accuracy of our report", BuzzFeed said.

"Today's claims are just more made-up lies born of Michael Cohen's malice and desperation", Giuliani said.

Mr Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said in a statement that any suggestion that Mr Trump told Mr Cohen to lie is "categorically false". BuzzFeed said Cohen told Mueller that Trump personally instructed him to lie about the timing of the project in order to obscure Trump's involvement. He said that Trump's attorney general nominee, William Barr - who, if confirmed, would have oversight of the Mueller investigation - must "refer, at a minimum, the relevant portions of material discovered by Mueller". He said that the committee would "get to the bottom of this and follow the evidence wherever it may lead". Trump has been accused of being too close with Russia's president, Vladimir Putin.

The revelation came after Cohen had already admitted in federal court that Trump "directed" him to make hush payments to influence the 2016 election.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, said his committee would investigate as well.

Earlier on Friday, Mr Trump tweeted that Cohen was "lying" about the Moscow project "to reduce his jail time".

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