Skip to comments.Shocker: Reporter Who Co-Wrote ‘Bombshell’
Posted on 01/18/2019 5:13:31 PM PST by Kaslin
UPDATE: It’s all trash. Special Counsel’s office makes a rare comment to the press to say BuzzFeed story was not accurate. BuzzFeed is busted
UPDATE: The special counsel's office has taken the rare step of issuing a statement in response to our report on Michael Cohen being directed by Trump to lie to Congress:https://t.co/WA2fZcdK9u pic.twitter.com/PY1r9LxDid— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) January 19, 2019
“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.”
Special Counsel’s Office— Jake Gibson (@JakeBGibson) January 19, 2019
Oh, look out! Look out! We have another supposed Russia bombshell…that’s not based on evidence. How many times have we seen this movie before? There’s a story, media pandemonium, and then it all falls apart. It wouldn’t be the first time the liberal media has committed malpractice in this regard. In fact, they’ve been horrific in covering this White House. From screwing up timestamps on emails to being incapable of getting a simple koi fish feeding story right, the liberal media in the Trump era has been more reckless than ever before. The Russia investigation stories are especially egregious. Nothingburger is the word that could be best to describe all of it. Cortney nabbed the latest so-called bombshell that dropped last night: President Trump reportedly instructed his ex-personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who was recently sentenced to jail, to lie to Congress about a real estate deal in Russia.
Let me get this straight.
The entire premise of this Buzzfeed story is based on “evidence” that their reporters now admit they haven’t even seen.
Even worse, a reporter who wrote it has a history of false reporting.
Par for the course from the publisher of the phony dossier.— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 18, 2019
BuzzFeed’s Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold wrote the story. They supposedly have solid sourcing, but no one has seen the evidence. Over at RedState, Joe Cunningham rehashed Jason Leopold’s sordid history with the truth. He dredged up an analysis by Columbia Journalism Review about his 2006 story that Karl Rove, former Deputy White House Chief under Bush, was going to be indicted. Even Salon had to remind its readers of his shoddy stories.
So, here is where I am on the BuzzFeed story. Bear with me a moment as I try to lay this out as best as I can.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
BuzzFeed News drops a major story at 10:11 p.m. Thursday night. The story claims that there is evidence Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress. The story bases this claim on information given to them by two unnamed sources.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
The story isn't about what Cohen is claiming. The sources are saying Cohen told Mueller this and it was backed up in Mueller's interviews with folks from the Trump Organization.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
There's two red flags for me. Unnamed sources and Mueller talking to Trump Organization people. The latter is a flag because that in and of itself is a major story that no one else had broken. https://t.co/wP6hVZswsy— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
You even had an executive producer from ABC say none of their folks had heard anything like that, and no other outlet has verified it with their own sources. That's not to say BuzzFeed isn't capable of beating those outlets, but it seems like a major development.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
Next, I am wary of any story with Jason Leopold's name attached. He has a history that, strangely enough, involves federal investigations, unnamed sources, and documentation that isn't provided within the stories he writes.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
To complement the past, Leopold in one interview appears to contradict his co-author, Anthony Cormier. Cormier told CNN they hadn't seen documents, Leopold says they had.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
Maybe they were referencing different things, but the lack of clarity is troubling at best.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
At this point, all the warning signs are there:
1. Confirmation Bias
2. Unnamed/Anonymous Sourcing
3. No Documentation
4. Writer With A History Of Making Things Up— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
And yet, the bigger issue here is the claim itself. It is too big a claim to simply dismiss. If there is any truth to it whatsoever, then it's a major problem for Trump. So, I can't just pan it as "fake news."— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
What I do know is this: There is nothing that we can really take at face value until the investigation is done, and nothing short of a full, unredacted release of Mueller's report will satisfy the hunger for truth we're all feeling right now.— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
In other words, only Mueller can set us free. That is too much power for one man to wield, but here we are. https://t.co/y0kpvkm70S— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) January 18, 2019
From CJR in 2006:
We wonder if the folks over at Truthout.org are rethinking their affiliation with reporter and serial fabulist Jason Leopold. Leopold, you may recall, is the freelance reporter who was caught making stuff up in a 2002 Salon.com article, self-admittedly “getting it completely wrong” in pieces for Dow Jones, and had his own memoir cancelled because of concerns over the accuracy of quotations.
Leopold’s latest addition to his application for membership in the Stephen Glass school of journalism came on May 12 of this year, when he got what appeared to be the scoop of a lifetime. Now writing for Truthout.org, Leopold reported that Karl Rove “told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration officials,” that he was about to be indicted in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case, “according to people knowledgeable about these discussions.”
Leopold claimed that multiple sources “confirmed Rove’s indictment is imminent. These individuals requested anonymity saying they were not authorized to speak publicly about Rove’s situation.”
When Leopold’s story was first called into question a few weeks ago, Salon’s Tim Grieve reminded readers of Leopold’s checkered history with the publication. Salon removed Leopold’s August 29, 2002 story about Enron from its site after it was discovered that he plagiarized parts from the Financial Times and was unable to provide a copy of an email that was critical to the piece. Leopold’s response? A hysterical rant
Fast forward to March 2005, when Leopold’s memoir, Off the Record, was set to be released. In the book, according to Howard Kurtz, Leopold says that he details his own “lying, cheating and backstabbing,” and comes clean about how he got fired from the Los Angeles Times and quit Dow Jones just before they fired him because, as he said, it “Seems I got all of the facts wrong” on a story about Enron.
But the book was not to be. Rowman & Littlefield, the book’s publisher, cancelled production just before it went to press after one of the book’s sources threatened to sue. That source, Steven Maviglio, who was a spokesman for California Governor Gray Davis, said that Leopold “just got it completely wrong” when recounting how he allegedly told Leopold that he “might have broken the law by investing in energy companies using inside information.”
True to form, Leopold blamed his publisher for the controversy…
If Buzzfeed breaks it, doesn't that typically mean that NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times and the Washington Post didnt find it credible enough to run and passed on it?— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 18, 2019
Cunningham ended by noting that both authors appear to not be on the same pages regarding their evidence. Cormier saying they haven’t seen the evidence, Leopold saying, “We’ve seen the documents.”
“We have seen documents. We have been briefed on documents. We are very confident in our reporting," BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold, who co-wrote bombshell new report, says. pic.twitter.com/5RXOx8rvo0— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 18, 2019
“I am rock solid. My sourcing on this goes beyond the two that are on the record. This 100% happened,” @a_cormier_ says about his BuzzFeed report that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about proposed Moscow project. https://t.co/sF3XuqPfkq pic.twitter.com/BMCzhs904a— New Day (@NewDay) January 18, 2019
On Twitter, Cunningham detailed in a lengthy thread how he spoke to an executive producer at ABC who said no other outlet has been able to verify this story with their sources, and they’ve never even heard about this development. And how the anonymous sources and the fabulist history of Leopold represent some of the major red flags with this story. It’s quite possible we have another Trump-Russia story that totally blows up. At the same time, he says that the allegation, which again could be total trash, is too big to ignore, and you bet that Democrats are going to investigate this. They already have said that. It provides another lengthy breathe of oxygen to this story that has gone nowhere. Given the liberal media’s history of failure with the Russian collusion beat, take this with a grain of salt.
Just for posterity: Trump directing Cohen to lie about a real estate deal, while plausible and potentially impeachable, would *not* by itself constitute "collusion" or any other grand illegal espionage conspiracy, absent a ton of additional (and as-yet-nonexistent) evidence— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 18, 2019
This story is so diffuse, with so many different strands, that they all tend to be conflated under the ill-defined "collusion" rubric. That's why making these distinctions is necessary. Suspicions of a criminal espionage conspiracy have animated "Russiagate" from the beginning.— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 18, 2019
Reminder: best practices for assessing Russiagate stories that have the entire media shrieking BOOM! in unison -- wait 24 hours and see if the frenzy was warranted. Helpful guideline to follow ever since this tiresome saga began— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 18, 2019
Is Mueller trying to save face?
These corrupt political hacks, their cohorts in the MSM, and their Sugar Daddy still think we’re all too stupid to do the research and investigating into their collusion against our President and us. Not wise, IMO.
...now we can wait for all the retractions tomorrow.... better take a seat
Jason Leopold has a history of lying and fabricating in stories, going back to his days writing about ENRON in 2002....
Hmmmm could be coincidence, but some of Mueller’s team (Weissmann in particular) go back to federal prosecution teams for Enron and Arthur Andersen (and Weissmann’s work was totally repudiated by a unanimous Court of Appeals throwing out the convictions related to Arthur Andersen).
Speculation here, but I wonder if Jason Leopold re-connected with either Weissmann or someone in Weissmann’s circle. Then Leopold either got bad info or (more likely) greatly exaggerated and distorted whatever he thought he’d “learned”......
In any case, all angles on this need to be investigated thoroughly.
Whatever Team Mueller’s motives might be here, this is a HUGE smackdown to Buzzfeed and the Mediascum.
Lol. Just great!
The “story” never made much sense anyway. I mean, you go to your “lawyer” and tell them to perjure themselves? The “lawyer”, if he was worth anything, should have counselled Trump that that was a bad strategy. Rework it. Say “I don’t recall” or something. Your lawyer should be focused on doing everything that can be done to straddle the line on the LEGAL side. Shouldn’t he?
BUT HE SAID “WE’VE SEEN THE DOCUMENTS”
Or was this a leak test?
A desperate attempt to save speaker Pelosi. Her lies about the shutdown of the SOTU stunt and the Presidents grounding of the military planes has made her look like a complete fool. I think this stunt will cost Pelosi the speakership.
Fake sources. Fake reporting. Fake journalists. Fake news.
About time! Saw Rudy’s post. Potus seems very quiet.
Wow, I’m heading over to the DUmp to listen to the lamentations of their girly men!
Look! It’s the head of the Lollipop Guild!
My thoughts are along the same lines as yours, but:
“Killian docs/Dan Rather”.
Then again, arguing about the latter got me banned. Nix.
Buzzfeed exists to make the WaPo look less fake.
As Mark Levin said, the only possible source of the leak to BuzzFeed is Mueller’s office. It’s happened before. So they REALLY don’t want an investigation of how BuzzFeed got the fake story.
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