‘Declining Journalistic Standards’: Lanny Davis Blasts McClatchy Over Disputed Michael Cohen Report

Chuck Ross | Investigative Reporter

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 Saturday.

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. (RELATED: Michael Cohen Disputes Report That He Visited Prague)

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Special counsel Robert Mueller (L) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee meets with Mueller to discuss the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Special counsel Robert Mueller (L) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

McClatchy also reported that an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up chatter from a Russian government official who said 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 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 corroborated the bombshell report.

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