President Donald Trump on Friday accused his former lawyer Michael Cohen of "lying to reduce his jail time" in the wake of a bombshell report from BuzzFeed News that said the president himself directed Cohen to lie to Congress.
Trump did not directly address the BuzzFeed article in his tweet, but added, "Watch" Cohen's "father-in-law!"
BuzzFeed reported Thursday night that Trump directed his former personal lawyer and fixer to lie to Congress about talks regarding a possible Trump Tower project in Moscow.
BuzzFeed's report did not rely on Cohen's claims, but rather attributes the information to two federal law enforcement officials involved in the investigation. It also cites "multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents" related to Trump's reported directive that were found by special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators.
Confronted with such evidence, Cohen acknowledged that he received the instructions from Trump during his interviews with the special counsel's office, BuzzFeed said.
Neither NBC News nor CNBC has confirmed the BuzzFeed report.
Late Friday, a spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller disputed elements of the report in a statement to CNBC.
"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," Peter Carr said in a statement to CNBC.
The president's son, Donald Trump, Jr., called the story "the usual clickbait BS" and "textbook #fakenews" in a tweet.
"I'm not going to give any credence" to Cohen, "who's a convicted liar," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Fox News minutes after Trump's tweet.
A lawyer for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in the Mueller probe, told The Washington Post: "If you believe Cohen, I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge." He made a similar remark to NBC News.