Democrats pledge to get to the bottom of Buzzfeed report

Ben Smith, the site's editor in chief, stands by its report, which says Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress; Robert Mueller's office weighs in.
2:52 | 01/19/19

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Transcript for Democrats pledge to get to the bottom of Buzzfeed report
Now to the special counsel's office taking a rare step weighing in on those allegations made by buzzfeed that the president directed his former fixer to lie to congress. Democrats in congress saying they want to get to the bottom of the allegations. ABC's chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas is in Washington with the details. Good morning to you, Pierre. Reporter: Eva, good morning. The story which set off a firestorm here in Washington is being challenged by the white house, and parts of it are being disputed by people we rarely hear from outside of court, the special counsel's office. This morning, the special counsel's office in a surprising move is officially challenging parts of the buzzfeed article that reported that president trump allegedly directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to congress. A spokesperson for special counsel Robert Mueller issuing this rare rebuke. 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. The special counsel's statement does not address every allegation in the article, but takes issue with how buzzfeed reports the actions taken and the evidence gathered by the Mueller team. Cohen who will soon go to prison has pled guilty to lying to congress when he told members a trump tower Moscow project was abandoned in January 2015. Mr. Cohen, how are you feeling? Reporter: When in reality negotiations continued until June 2016 deep into the campaign. The buzzfeed article which ABC news has not been able to confirm alleges that president trump directed Cohen to lie. That report left Democrats on capitol hill vowing to investigate and some potential presidential candidates using the "I" word, impeachment. The recent articles are quite disturbing if Mr. Trump instructed him to lie repeatedly. Reporter: But the white house and the president's attorneys pushed back hard. Sarah, did the president direct Michael Cohen to lie to congress? Look, THAs absolutely ridiculous. It is categorically false. Reporter: Now the president's lawyers say he is vindicated. I am glad that Bob Mueller's office issued the statement. It was called for. It was due. It was the appropriate thing to do. Reporter: Last night the president responded tweeting, very sad day for journalism but a great day for our country. But buzzfeed's editor in chief says they still stand by the reporting and he's asking the special counsel's office what they're disputing, Eva. Why did the special counsel's office take this unusual step of commenting? Reporter: Well, the special counsel's office has a reputation for not leaking and clearly they don't like people commenting on the actions of its investigators they're supposedly taking and the special counsel only speaks in courts or documents filed in the court, and, remember, Robert Mueller has not said a single word in public on this case since he began igating nearly two years ago. A lot of reaction to this story. Pierre Thomas for us in Washington. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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