Wallace on Report Trump Told Cohen to Lie to Congress: I Take It With a 'Giant Block of Salt'
UPDATE: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office on Friday issued an extraordinary statement disputing a bombshell news report that claimed President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie about the timing of discussions over a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow.
"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace said a new report that President Trump directed his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress could be huge, but it should be taken with "a giant block of salt" until definitive proof emerges.
The allegations were detailed in a BuzzFeed report published Thursday night. It cited two unnamed federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation on the matter who said Cohen acknowledged to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office that he was instructed by Trump to lie to Congress in 2017 about discussions of a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow.
The report, which has not been confirmed by Fox News, said Mueller’s office first learned of the directive from interviews with witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company email, text messages and documents. It also said that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. were briefed with regular details about the real estate deal from Cohen.
On "America's Newsroom" Friday, Wallace said he has his doubts about BuzzFeed's reporting, noting that one of the authors of the new report, Anthony Cormier, admitted on CNN Friday that he had not "personally" seen the evidence underlying the report.
"[That] is a big red flag," Wallace said. "So I don't know whether this story is true or not, and I would take it with a ... giant block of salt."
He added, however, that if the report is true, it's "very disturbing," as Trump would have suborned perjury.
"It's the kind of thing that could get you impeached, but we don't know whether, in fact, that's the case," Wallace said.
"If it's true -- with a giant "IF" -- it's a big deal. If it's not true, it's a big deal because it's going to make the press look really stupid."
In an MSNBC interview Friday, co-author of the report Jason Leopold said he had seen the documents in question and is "very confident in our reporting."
“We have seen documents. We have been briefed on documents. We are very confident in our reporting," BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold, who co-wrote bombshell new report, says. pic.twitter.com/5RXOx8rvo0
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 18, 2019
Watch the clip above, and see White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley react to the BuzzFeed report, here.