President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giluliani responded late Thursday night to allegations Trump ordered his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
"If you believe Cohen, I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge," Giluiani told reporters.
"Also why does SDNY say [Cohen] is not telling the whole truth, ask him about his father in law," he further told Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Ballhaus.
BuzzFeed News reported Thursday that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations on a possible Trump Tower deal in Moscow. Two law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed that special counsel Robert Mueller has witnesses from the Trump Organization, company emails, text messages and other documents that indicate Trump personally directed Cohen.
Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.
The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.
Last November, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for financial crimes and lying to Congress.
Democratic lawmakers voiced their concern on social media Thursday when the BuzzFeed report broke.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) said "if true" that the allegations would be the most serious against Trump to date.
The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date. We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas) said Trump must resign or be impeached if the allegation turns out to be true.
If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019
One of the BuzzFeed reporters who broke the story, Anthony Cormier, went on CNN's "New Day" on Friday to talk about his story. Cormier said he and his co-author Jason Leopold have not personally seen the evidence but claimed their sources have.
"Our sources have, before Mueller. So they had access to a number of different documents, 302 reports, which are interview reports," Cormier said. "That stuff was compiled as they began to look at who the players were speaking with, how the negotiations went, who all from the Trump Organization and outside the organization were involved in getting that tower set up."
When asked about Leopold's "dubious" past, Cormier was confident about the credibility of his sources.
"My sourcing on this goes beyond the two on the record," Cormier said. "It’s 100 percent. I am the individual who confirmed and verified that it– I am telling you, our sourcing goes beyond the two I was able to put on the record. We were able to gather information from individuals who know this happened."
Leopold came under scrutiny for faulty reporting for Salon in 2002 that led to an article being removed. In 2006, he incorrectly reported that Karl Rove had been indicted.