First, it's important to read the statement issued by Mueller's spokesperson, Peter Carr.
"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."
So, to be clear, Mueller is not stating the story itself, that the President told Cohen to lie to Congress, is false. He's saying the way Buzzfeed described "specific statements," documents, and testimony "are not accurate."
Here's what Buzzfeed's Editor-in-Chief, Ben Smith, told Rachel Maddow Friday night:
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 19, 2019
Also on Maddow, former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg, who served as the the acting head of the DEA says point blank: "the core of the Buzzfeed story is accurate."
And here's what some other legal and experts and former government officials are saying.
Mariotti is a former federal prosecutor and currently a CNN Legal Analyst:
It means that the sources didn’t capture some important nuance or qualification and thus overstated the evidence that Mueller has.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) January 19, 2019
Former Chief Spokesperson for the U.S. Dept. of Defense:
FWIW my take as a former government spokesman: the statement from the Special Counsel's office tonight is not a full-throated denial of the @BuzzFeed story, but a way of saying to the public: "the arc of the story has merit but we disagree with the nuance."
— George Little (@georgelittledc) January 19, 2019
Former National Security Council Spokesperson:
Take it from me, this is how a gov spox says “Parts of the story are wrong and parts are right, but I can’t tell you which parts are which because it would require confirming some things or refuting with info that I don’t want to reveal (because it’s sensitive or damaging).” https://t.co/aDjCcnRaZf
— Caitlin Hayden (@CaitlinHayden) January 19, 2019
National security journalist Marcy Wheeler:
Mueller has spent 1.5 years ensuring they never get accused of leaking. If BF's sources were SDNY, then SDNY just endangered that effort. And THAT is prolly why SCO made a statement, not (primarily) bc of what BF said.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) January 19, 2019
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