McClatchy Spokesperson: 'We Stand By Our Reporting' That Michael Cohen Traveled To Prague

 

 

Screengrab from https://youtu.be/fcvrKkS9AJc

McClatchy spokeswoman, Jeanne Segal, told The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross that the media company “stands by their story” that former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen did indeed travel to Prague in 2016.

During his testimony last Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen said, “I’ve never been to Prague. I’ve never been to the Czech Republic.”

Ever since Buzzfeed published the dossier in January 2017 which made the sensational claim that Cohen “colluded” with Russian officials in Prague ahead of the 2016 election, Cohen has repeatedly denied it.

Cohen’s alleged trip to Prague in August 2016 to “meet with Kremlin officials to discuss making secret payments to Russian hackers” is perhaps the most incriminating claim in the Steele Dossier. And, given his resentment of Trump, he would have every incentive to affirm it.

On April 13, 2018, McClatchy DC reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon published a story entitledSources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier.” 

They reported:

The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

But investigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany, apparently during August or early September of 2016 as the ex-spy reported.

At that time, The Daily Caller contacted the office of the special counsel and a spokesman said: “What I have been telling all reporters is that many stories about our investigation have been inaccurate. Be very cautious about any source that claims to have knowledge about our investigation and dig deep into what they claim before reporting on it.” 

On December 27, 2018, Stone and Gordon reported:

A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.

During the same period of late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said.

Once again, Cohen denied he had been to Prague.

Following his denial in the open hearing before the House Oversight Committee last Wednesday, he testified the next day in a closed hearing before the House Intelligence Committee. The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reported:

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) suggested that Cohen, who was under oath, denied all allegations made about him by Christopher Steele…

Nunes said that Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Republican on the Intelligence Committee, went “point by point through the dossier to ensure that Cohen’s testimony was still the same from a year and a half ago, when he first testified.”

Stone and Gordon offer no credible evidence in any of their reporting on the claims in the dossier. They cite only “two sources familiar with the matter,” “four people with knowledge of the matter” or “two people familiar with the incident” as their sources.

Despite Cohen’s history of playing it fast and loose with the truth, I believe he never travelled to Prague in August of 2016.