Trump thanks special counsel Robert Mueller for statement about BuzzFeed article

Reuters
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 19, 2019, 10:24 PM(IST)

File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

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'I think that the BuzzFeed piece was a disgrace to our country. It was a disgrace to journalism,' Trump told reporters at the White House.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday said, he was grateful to Special Counsel Robert Mueller for a statement disputing a BuzzFeed News report that Trump directed his former lawyer to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal.

"I appreciate the special counsel coming out with a statement last night. I think it was very appropriate that they did so," Trump told reporters at the White House. "I think that the BuzzFeed piece was a disgrace to our country. It was a disgrace to journalism."

Mueller's office on Friday disputed key elements of a media report that President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal, raising questions about a story that has dominated US news coverage for the past two days.

 Mueller's office on Friday disputed key elements of a media report that President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal, raising questions about a story that has dominated US news coverage for the past 24 hours.

While Carr did not directly address whether there was evidence that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, he disputed portions of the story about how BuzzFeed corroborated the explosive allegations against Trump.

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said in a statement: "We stand by the reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he's disputing."

After the BuzzFeed report was published on Thursday night, investigators in the US Senate and House of Representatives said they planned to investigate the allegations, while some Democrats described the report as a game-changer that, if true, could be grounds for impeaching the president.

Cohen, who once said he was so loyal to Trump that he would "take a bullet" for him, is scheduled to begin a three-year prison sentence in March after pleading guilty to charges including campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress.

If Trump did tell Cohen to lie, that would constitute criminal activity, said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat. He added that he would look into the matter.

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