Despite special counsel Robert Mueller’s office claiming the recent Buzzfeed News story was not entirely accurate, the journalists behind the bombshell report remain confident in their sources, according to Axios.
Anthony Cormier and editor-in-chief Ben Smith said on CNN Sunday that their story is accurate.
The pair reported last week that President Donald Trump had directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie during his testimony before Congress regarding the Trump Tower Moscow deal he was pursuing during the 2016 election.
The story was sourced from two "federal law enforcement officials" familiar with the investigation, the report said.
Mueller spokesman Peter Carr released the following statement in response to the story:
"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."
Their exchange with CNN’s Brian Stelter, transcribed by Axios:
Cormier: "This story is accurate."
Stelter: "What if the sources are just wrong?
Cormier: "They're not."
Stelter: "Not intentionally. Not trying to hurt you, but what if they're wrong?"
Cormier: "They're not. They're not. I'm confident."
Stelter also asked if BuzzFeed is concerned about its credibility and their jobs if the story is wrong:
Smith: "You know, we're confident in the story and we are — and I think he we also do think while there is right now and understandably a focus on the media story, the important story is about the relationship between the Trump administration and Russia."
After Carr disputed the accuracy of the story, Buzzfeed responded:
"We are continuing to report and determine what the special counsel is disputing. We remain confident in the accuracy of our report." BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith wrote on Twitter: "We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he's disputing."