BuzzFeed Defends Trump-Russia Blockbuster and Promises to Run Down New Details

“Our reporting is going to be borne out.”

Richard Vogel/AP

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BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith and investigative reporter Anthony Corimer appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday to double-down on their blockbuster story alleging President Trump ordered his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the president’s dealings in Russia.

“Our reporting is going to be borne out to be accurate and we’re 100 percent behind it,” Cormier, who worked on the story with investigative reporter Jason Leopold, told CNN’s media correspondent Brian Stelter. “The same sources we used in that story are standing behind it, as are we.”

After the report was published last Thursday night, special counsel Robert Mueller took the rare step of releasing a statement denying the accuracy of BuzzFeed’s reporting. The statement sparked intense scrutiny on BuzzFeed’s high-stakes article, and where their two unnamed sources might have got their information from. The news even led some Democratic lawmakers to argue the reporting could end Trump’s presidency.

Days of heated criticism has followed the allegation. At the heart of the dispute is whether or not the special counsel’s office possesses real evidence that Trump directly instructed Cohen to lie to Congress, as BuzzFeed claimed. Pete Carr, Mueller’s spokesperson said, “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.”

“We don’t know everything,” Smith told Stelter during Sunday’s interview. “We know what we know. We know what we know is accurate.” Smith said the company is working hard to corroborate its reporting and run down new details.

The interview comes on the same day that Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, suggested there may, in fact, have been a conversation between Trump and Cohen prior to the congressional testimony, adding that such an exchange would be “perfectly normal” if it happened.

Watch the full interview with Smith and Corimer below:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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