US special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has disputed parts of a media report which claimed President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer to lie to Congress about a real estate deal in Moscow.
Buzzfeed News reported late on Thursday that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and so called fixer, told investigators into Russian collusion that Trump had told him to lie about a bid to build a skyscraper in Moscow during his presidential run.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, 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.”
The comment is the special counsel’s first in response to a media report since the start of the investigation 20 months ago.
The statement did not elaborate on which parts of the Buzzfeed report were inaccurate.
Mueller and his team are looking into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and whether the Trump campaign was complicit. Trump has repeatedly denied the claim via venomous attacks on the media.
Last night Trump tweeted: “Fake news is truly the enemy of the people!”
Earlier on Friday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the story was false. "Look, that's absolutely ridiculous," she said.
Cohen, who has previously he would "take a bullet" for Trump, is due to start a three-year prison term in March after pleading guilty to charges including campaign finance offences, tax evasion and lying to Congress.