President Donald Trump’s legal team reached out to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office Friday morning after BuzzFeed published an explosive report suggesting Trump directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, Rudy Giuliani told CNN.
Giuliani, who is Trump’s attorney, would not provide further details about what they said to Mueller’s office. Friday evening, special counsel spokesman Peter Carr issued a rare statement rejecting the central claim in the BuzzFeed article, that Mueller has corroborating evidence (including testimony from Cohen) indicating Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about the deal.
The statement was drafted internally within the special counsel’s office, which made the decision to release it, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation. The deputy attorney general’s office, which oversees the special counsel, was only given a heads up it was coming Friday evening.
Carr declined to comment to CNN about any communication from the Trump legal team.
BuzzFeed has since stood by its report, which CNN has not corroborated.
The report triggered a wave of discussion Friday morning about the prospect of impeachment until Mueller’s office publicly weighed in disputing Buzzfeed’s reporting. Trump’s allies jumped on Mueller’s statement, with the President on Saturday calling the report “disgraceful.”
Giuliani praised Mueller on Friday night for issuing the statement disputing the report and accused the press of being biased against Trump in its coverage of the BuzzFeed story.
CNN’s Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.