For much of the past 20 months, President Donald Trump and his administration have insisted that, for all of the smoke surrounding his 2016 campaign, there was no fire. A lot of people in Trump’s orbit engaging in conversations and relationships with Russian officials, but no evidence of collusion and certainly nothing that linked Donald Trump to any wrongdoing.
That very well might have changed Thursday night, with this report from BuzzFeed:
“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.”
The BuzzFeed story also claims that Cohen confirmed this information to special counsel Robert Mueller after “the special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”
It’s hard to overstate what a big deal that is. No other major outlets have confirmed the BuzzFeed report. But if the BuzzFeed report is right, then the President of the United States directed an underling to lie under oath — which is, in and of itself, a crime.
Mediator This is, in many respects, a golden age for journalism. With a president facing multiple federal and state inquiries – including one into whether a foreign government helped get him elected – the press has come through with some investigative work that can stand with the finest Watergate-era reporting.
MSNBC: Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, talks with Rachel Maddow about their reporting that Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, and how he understands the pushback from the Special Counsel’s Office a day after the report was published.
Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, talks with Rachel Maddow about their reporting that Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, and how he understands the pushback from the Special Counsel’s Office a day after the report was published.
MSNBC: The Special Counsel’s Office has disputed – parts of – a BuzzFeed report that claimed Trump ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress but what part?