GOP senator: 'First Amendment was bruised' by BuzzFeed report

GOP senator: 'First Amendment was bruised' by BuzzFeed report
© Greg Nash

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) said Sunday that the "First Amendment was bruised" by a BuzzFeed News report that was challenged by the special counsel's office.

"It was embarrassing. I think the First Amendment was bruised. Look, reporters make mistakes. We all do," Kennedy said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Kennedy called it "astonishing" that others in the media didn't express more skepticism about the veracity of the BuzzFeed report, which claimed Trump had directed personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the timing of negotiations over a potential Trump Tower in Moscow.

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"It was almost as if some of the reporting was not reporting, it was wishful thinking," Kennedy said. "And I think it hurt the First Amendment."

BuzzFeed's report cited "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. 

The special counsel's office pushed back on the story, issuing a rare statement that said the news outlet's "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."

Other news outlets were not able to independently confirm BuzzFeed's reporting, though the story received significant attention on cable news, and was the subject of extensive analysis online.

Trump and his allies spotlighted the special counsel's statement to excoriate the press as biased.

BuzzFeed News has stood by its reporting.