Russia investigation

Trump praises Mueller for putting out BuzzFeed statement

Trump speaking to reporters
Photo: Pete Marovich via Getty Images

Speaking to reporters Saturday morning, President Trump offered praise to special counsel Robert Mueller for putting out a statement that disputed parts of an explosive report from BuzzFeed News.

"Yes, I thought that the BuzzFeed piece and maybe equally as bad, the coverage of the BuzzFeed phony story. It was a total phony story, and I appreciate the special counsel coming out with a statement last night. I think it was very appropriate that they did so, I very much appreciate that."

Why it matters: Trump has unleashed countless Twitter tirades decrying the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" over the past year and a half, but Mueller's decision to take the rare step of going on the record to dispute the BuzzFeed story — and Trump's subsequent praise of that decision — may make it more difficult for the president to condemn future moves as politically motivated.

Go deeper: Mueller's BuzzFeed statement is a reckoning for Trump-era journalism

A reckoning for political journalism

CNN Mueller statement
Screengrab from CNN

Last night's rare on-the-record statement from the Mueller team is a reckoning that journalism had coming: Amid some of the most impressive reporting of our lifetimes, there's plenty of questionable coverage in this shock-a-minute era.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed's report that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, if true, would put this presidency at existential risk.

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