Lanny Davis, an adviser to Michael Cohen, is accusing McClatchy of “declining journalistic standards” over the news service’s recent report claiming that evidence exists placing Cohen in Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Can any member of the media take ‘No’ for an answer – in contrast to anonymous sources who at best are engaging in single, double, or sometimes triple hearsay if ‘intelligence sources.’ @McClatchyDC declining journalistic standards?” Davis wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Can any member of the media take “No” for an answer – in contrast to anonymous sources who at best are engaging in single, double, or sometimes triple hearsay if “intelligence sources.” @McClatchyDC declining journalistic standards ?
— Lanny Davis (@LannyDavis) December 29, 2018
On Thursday, McClatchy reported that Cohen’s cell phone pinged off of a cell tower in Prague in August or September 2016, at around the same time that the infamous Steele dossier claims that Cohen was in the European city to meet with a group of Kremlin officials.
McClatchy also reported that an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up chatter from a Russian government official who said that Cohen was in Prague.
The intelligence has been provided to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to McClatchy.
If accurate, the report would bolster the dossier and provide the strongest evidence to date that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians.
But there are several problems with the story. The first is that Cohen continues to dispute the allegations even though he is cooperating with Mueller’s probe.
“I hear #Prague #CzechRepublic is beautiful in the summertime. I wouldn’t know as I have never been. #Mueller knows everything!” Cohen wrote on Twitter after the McClatchy story appeared.
One of the reporters who worked on the piece, Greg Gordon, also said in an interview on Thursday that the story relied on third-hand information from sources who have not seen the underlying intelligence on Cohen. No other news outlets have been able to corroborate the bombshell report.
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