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Twitter pillories BuzzFeed after Mueller team dismisses 'bombshell' on Cohen & Trump

Twitter pillories BuzzFeed after Mueller team dismisses 'bombshell' on Cohen & Trump
Conservative Twitter has been in full gloat-mode after the Special Counsel team called a BuzzFeed report claiming Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen lied to Congress on his boss' orders "not accurate."

Twitter has been set alight by a sudden twist in a BuzzFeed story that claimed to have proof that President Donald Trump directly instructed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie before Congress on his plans to build a hotel in Moscow that would have seen him meeting Russian officials.

After the "bombshell" was picked up (to a great extent uncritically) by the mainstream media, which floated impeachment through a legion of ever-ready pundits, the scoop was busted by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller himself.

Mueller's spokesman, Peter Carr, said that the "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."

Conservative political columnist Ann Coulter, Trump's son Donald Junior, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch all tore into BuzzFeed, along with thousands of less high-profile Trump supporters, getting the #RIPBuzzfeed hashtag going.

Facing a torrent of mockery and derision, BuzzFeed chose to stand by its claims. BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith called on Mueller to clarify what exactly he had denied. "We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it," he tweeted.

Some mainstream media, like the Washington Post and the New York Times, have been pouring cold water on the report (using unnamed sources of their own).

MSNBC's Chris Matthews argued that the fact the report is inaccurate "does not mean it is not true," while NBC's Ken Dilanian said Mueller denied only that part of the report that said he had obtained Trump organization documents supporting the allegations.

Dilanian, however, later admitted that he "was interpreting the pushback too narrowly."

The Washington Post shared that sentiment, reporting that Mueller's statement "aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate," while citing "people familiar with the matter."

The New York Times also debunked the story, citing a person familiar with Cohen's testimony, who told them that the disgraced former lawyer "never implied the president had pressured him to lie to Congress."

Trump has used the apparent fiasco by the publication to bring up "the totally discredited" Steele Dossier which BuzzFeed published in January 2017. "A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!" Trump tweeted.

While multiple outlets were busy distancing themselves from the red-faced BuzzFeed, lone voices from the anti-Trump resistance crowd, almost drowned out by the avalanche of mockery, jumped to its defense.

Some suggested that the zeal with which the mainstream media ganged up on BuzzFeed is a clumsy attempt to save face.

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