One of the BuzzFeed reporters who broke the “bombshell” report that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was instructed to lie to Congress by the president appeared on CNN this morning and much mirth ensued as Anthony Cormier squirmed and stuttered his way through the interview.
“We can’t get into, like, the details there,” said Cormier, in response to the question about why his colleague and co-reporter on the story, Jason Leopold, said he had seen documentary proof that Trump ordered Cohen to lie while Cormier says they didn’t.
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
Leopold did not appear for the interview, which occasionally became tense as Stelter openly criticized BuzzFeed’s journalistic practices. Smith claimed Leopold, who has been out of the public view since Friday, was busy “reporting.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office issued a statement debunking the report, but do you think that stopped Cormier and his boss, Ben Smith, from claiming, “All is well. Remain calm” regarding the fantastical storytelling of both reporters?
“As we’ve re-confirmed our reporting, we’ve seen no indication that any specific aspect of our story is inaccurate. We remain confident in what we’ve reported, and will share more as we are able,” BuzzFeed said in a statement.
Cormier added in the interview with Stelter on Sunday: “I have further confirmation that this is right. We are being told to stand our ground … The same sources that we used in that story are standing behind it, as are we.”
I thought that sounded familiar so I went back into the archives of my old blog and found this statement from the editor of Truthout after Jason Leopold’s story about Karl Rove’s “indictment” blew up in his face:
We have been contacted by at least three reporters from mainstream media – network level organizations – who shared with us off-the-record confirmation and moral support. When we asked why they were not going public with this information, in each case they expressed frustration with superiors who would not allow it.
That’s from 2006. Apparently, the “superiors” of many reporters today don’t have quite the skeptical attitude toward Jason Leopold fantasies that editors had back then.
Cormier says he shouldn’t be fired:
Cormier also suggested he should not be fired for authoring the discredited report, because he has worked in the news industry for more than 20 years and built up substantial “skills” that help him divine accurate information from misleading sources.
“The same fundamentals that I learned covering city hall, covering the police, covering court houses — that stands today. I use those same skills, the same rigor to cover the White House. This is going to be borne out. This story is accurate,” Cormier said.
Got that? Covering zoning hearings is just the same as covering the White House.
Meanwhile, Democrats are claiming they said nothing wrong when threatening to impeach the president over this unlikely story:
But, speaking later to “Fox News Sunday,” South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn defended Democrats’ response to the BuzzFeed report, including some who called for Trump’s impeachment if the story proved accurate.
“I don’t think that my Democratic friends are in any way rushing to judgment because they qualified right up front [by saying], ‘If this is true,'” Clyburn argued. “When you preface your statement with ‘If this is true,’ that, to me, gives you all the cover you need.”
I heard a rumor that Clyburn was caught by D.C. police in a crack house being serviced by two whores.
If this is true — and if Jason Leopold reported it — he must resign.