Robert Mueller's Team Disputes BuzzFeed Story That Claimed Trump Ordered His Lawyer To Lie

A BuzzFeed story published on Thursday quickly had cable TV analysts and Democratic members of Congress calling for impeachment of President Donald Trump. And now, less than 24 hours after the story first ran, the office of special counsel Robert Mueller debunked it as "not accurate."

The story published says that President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, told investigators from the special counsel that after the 2016 presidential election, "the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations [for a Trump development project in Moscow] ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump's involvement," BuzzFeed wrote.

If the story is accurate, then it would accuse the president of obstruction of justice, which made up the first article of impeachment for Richard Nixon that passed in a 27-11 vote.

However, Mueller's office disputed the report, saying it was inaccurate to the point of a special counsel stepping out of territory and making a comment regarding an ongoing investigation. Peter Carr, a spokesman for the Mueller office, issued this statement Friday evening.

"BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony are not accurate," Carr said.

The special counsel didn't exactly specify which part of the BuzzFeed story it disputed, which triggered a response from the news site itself. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief at BuzzFeed, stood behind his reporters and the story, and wants to know exactly what Mueller's office is disputing.

"In response to the statement tonight from the Special Counsel's spokesman: We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he's disputing," Smith wrote.

This Newsweek story early Friday morning shows how MSNBC and CNN hosts treated the story, with one CNN analyst claiming the president "wants to be impeached.

"I think he almost wants to be impeached at this point of his behavior with the wall and such," CNN legal analyst Neal katyal said on Don Lemon's program. "He has no domestic agenda left. His domestic agenda is literally Twitter plus the wall. That's about it. Impeachment would actually allow him to do what he loves, which is be a snowflake and pretend he's the victim and the Democrats are this and that."

The White House stood firm all day Friday that the story was inaccurate, and the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., sent a tweet Friday with 139 emojis of "rolling on the floor laughing" and one "thumbs up sign."