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The Story That Was and Then Wasn’t


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The Buzzfeed #FakeNews Article

In an apparent effort at preserving their congruency, CNN spent most part of a day (All of Cuomo Prime Time) explaining that while the Mueller team has not usually commented on anything during the course of their 2-year inquiry into the President, they were doing so here in yet-to-be-unprecedented fashion. 

The episode of Cuomo Prime Time began with a careful analysis of the language used during the day, after the Buzzfeed article was debunked by the Special Counsel’s office. Implicit in the denial was the fact that the story/characterization was “not accurate”.  The statement in full from Peter Carr, Special Counsel Spokesperson was:

  • “Buzzfeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regading Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

Buzzfeed has responded via a tweet so far, with a request for more clarification on what was meant by the apparent denial:

  • Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen)

    “In response to the statement tonight from the Special Counsel’s spokesman: we stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.”

    5:24 PM – 18 Jan 2019

(What was not accurate about the story?)

At question is the veracity of what some news sources thought they had found out.  But within 24 hours it was all whisked away, and there is no more context available than there was in the first part of the tumultuous news week.

Last week a story broke about an apparently un-redactable document which disclosed some details on a Russia-Trump connection.  This so far has not come to a head, but is still referenced as a lead in the search for answers in this ongoing matter. On February 7thMueller is set to testify and we may at that time see more connections come into light.  The core outcome I am looking for, as a Trump-supporting American is a complete clearing of the President in crimes related to “Russian Collusion” and the like. 

If you were to go off of the news headlines on certain channels (Fox News for instance) you might be anticipating the contents of the burgers to be “something”.  But I think this is indeed a #fakenews #nothingburger all along.  Americans need clarity.

What can/must be done to fix this problem?

Who created the narrative that led to the false BuzzFeed story?

The media has to keep its standards high (okay) and not promote fake news stories

Who has access to the information?  The Special Counsel + _______.

In the course of obtaining evidence, and leads of news stories, what really happens? 

Who are the contacts, and who are the core agents?

Who assists this effort? 

Who is involved in the characterization of what is “fact” vs “fiction”.

The Mueller team will usually not comment on anything.

What is a denial worth?

Lots of people have access to “bad” information and are willing to share it.

We are all just as good as our sources…

Who are BuzzFeed’s sources? 

Who has a solid record on this story?


The Mueller probe knocked down the Buzzfeed story – that Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.  

They maintain that the story is not fabrication and that they have corroborating evidence.  In my view, this was a win for Trump and a sign of an impending #nothingburger ahead.






Chris Hanrahan

Founder of ESP Tribe and Creator of MOC On-Demand

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