The country is abuzz about a new report that came out of Buzzfeed that claims sources say a report says that President Donald Trump asked former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie during Congressional testimony about the Trump Organization and Russian authorities discussing plans on a Trump Tower Moscow project.
According to Mediaite, Anthony Cormier, the Buzzfeed reporter who dropped the bombshell report, appeared on CNN with Alysin Camerota to discuss it, and fully admitted that he hasn’t even seen these reports.
Camerota started by asking if Cormier had even seen evidence related to this report, to which Cormier answered bluntly “not personally,” before adding “the folks we have talked to — two officials we have spoken to are fully, 100 percent read into that aspect of the Special Counsel’s investigation”
He continued, according to Mediaite:
“[Our sources] have been working the Trump Moscow tower portion of the investigation…before Mueller. So they had access to a number of different documents, 302 reports which are interview reports,” he said. “That stuff was compiled as they began to look at who the players were speaking with, how those negotiations went, who all from the Trump organization and outside the organization were involved in getting that tower set up.”
“They began to compile the evidence before Michael Cohen decided to cooperate and speak with the Special Counsel,” Cormier added.
To CNN’s credit, Camerota brought up the fact that the report’s co-author Jason Leopold has a “dubious past” of claiming to have sources he didn’t actually have, but Cormier reassured Camerota that his sources were “rock solid” and reassured that he personally could vouch for them.
So what we have here is an “I know some folks who know some things about a report I’ve never seen” situation. As my colleague, Joe Cunningham wrote earlier, if Buzzfeed’s story is accurate then we’re going to soon see a tidal wave of confirmations from various “sources” from other mainstream outlets and the White House will go into crisis mode.
Thing is, we have not yet seen any other outlet confirm Buzzfeed’s claims. As Cunningham reminded us, it’s still early, but major news organizations would have been breathing down the necks of their own sources for confirmation, and we’ve yet to see anything.
At this moment all we have is “he said, she said” terminology dominating our headlines. It’s entirely possible that the sources are accurate, but there’s still reason to speculate that we’re looking at something overblown if not completely false here. If it turns out that Buzzfeed jumped at a story too quickly and the story doesn’t pan out to be what they hope it does, then Buzzfeed is about to have a cartoonish cannonball sized shot sent through their credibility.
If it’s true, however, Trump will be standing face to face with impeachment.