Kurtz on Disputed Trump-Cohen Report: 'Humiliating Episode' for BuzzFeed, 'Black Eye' for Many Media Outlets
Mueller: BuzzFeed story 'not accurate.'
The piece, authored by investigative reporters Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold, cites two law enforcement officials who said Michael Cohen acknowledged to Special Counsel Mueller’s office that Trump told him to lie to Congress about a potential real estate deal in Moscow.
According to the report, those two officials claim that the negotiations ended months before they did so as to conceal Trump’s involvement.
Mueller issued his first public statement in more than a year to repudiate the report, flatly asserting that BuzzFeed's story was "not accurate."
Cormier on Sunday declined to explain why Leopold claimed to have seen documents mentioned in the report -- contradicting Cormier's insistence that he had not personally seen the documents.
Two reporters on the debunked BuzzFeed story have conflicting statements:
One reporter said he *saw documents* proving the story true.
The other said he did not see any documents.
CNN asks about the discrepancy:
BuzzFeed: "We can't get into, like, the details there"
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 20, 2019
On America's Newsroom Monday, Kurtz said this was a "humiliating episode" for BuzzFeed and also a "black eye" for many media organizations.
"You just can't go with a charge of this magnitude -- accusing the president of the United States of suborning perjury, of telling his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie Congress -- without some email or text message or document, and not just a couple of anonymous sources," Kurtz said.
He noted that there was an "avalanche" of media coverage about the report, with many pundits saying if the report was true, Trump should be impeached or indicted.
"'If true' is not a good standard in journalism. It wasn't proven, no news organization could match it, and that's why nobody looks good in this episode."
Watch more above, and see Donald Trump Jr. weigh in on the disputed report on The Ingraham Angle tonight at 10:00pm ET.