Following special counsel Robert Mueller’s pushback on a BuzzFeed bombshell report alleging President Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, CNN’s Chris Cuomo raised serious concerns over the media’s reputation.
“Muller didn’t do the media any favors tonight and he did do the president one,” the anchor said in his Friday night broadcast as the drama unfolded.
At stake, he said, was public trust in an industry that has been under constant fire from the president and his allies.
“This allows them to say, ‘You can’t believe it, you can’t believe what you read, you can’t believe what you hear, you can only believe us,’” Cuomo added. ”‘Even the special counsel says that the media doesn’t get it right.’”
Mueller’s office hasn’t specified the errors in BuzzFeed’s story, which contended Cohen, at Trump’s behest as his then-fixer, was dishonest about the president’s efforts to build one of his namesake towers in Moscow.
Special counsel spokesperson Peter Carr told BuzzFeed its “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.”
Still, the outlet is standing by its work, citing two law enforcement officials privy to an investigation of the matter.
Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general under the Obama administration, told Cuomo the controversy showed that Mueller was impartial even though has has become one of the president’s favorite targets.
“Yes, we can talk about the boomerang on the media, but also there’s someone else who demonstrated once again I think his bonafides and that’s Robert Mueller,” he said.
That, Katyal argued, was a further indication that Congress must investigate the president.
“You take all of this together, and it really underscores the need for a serious congressional investigation using impeachment―not prejudging the outcome and saying anyone should be impeached―but everyone in this country needs to know the answers to these problems.”