Michael Cohen’s attorney has acknowledged being an anonymous source for the disputed CNN Trump Tower story and also admitted lying on TV about his involvement.
Lanny Davis told BuzzFeed News on Monday evening that he was a source for the story claiming that President Trump had personal prior knowledge of a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians — a story the Cohen camp has since repudiated.
“I made a mistake,” Mr. Davis said.
As the July 26 CNN story claiming that Cohen had direct knowledge of Donald Trump Jr. telling his father of the meeting came under increasing scrutiny, Mr. Davis publicly lied about his role.
“I think the reporting of the story got mixed up in the course of a criminal investigation. We were not the source of the story,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last week.
He told BuzzFeed on Monday about the Cooper comments that “I did not mean to be cute.”
SEE ALSO: Lanny Davis, Michael Cohen’s lawyer, walks back claim Trump had prior knowledge of Russia meeting
Further, in the original CNN story, Mr. Davis is actually quoted on the record, despite his being an anonymous source.
“Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen’s attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment,” the article read.
Both Mr. Davis and Cohen, who entered into a plea deal last week with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, have backed away from the Trump Tower story in the past week, though CNN stands behind it.
The article cited the plural “sources with knowledge.”
But as other news outlets wrote stories “matching” the CNN scoop, which if true would contradict the president’s repeated and public denials of any knowledge of the meeting, Mr. Davis was eagerly confirming the story to those other outlets.
The New York Post and the Washington Post each has publicly named Mr. Davis as their confirming source for their Trump Tower meeting stories, despite initial grants of anonymity.
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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