House Majority Whip James Clyburn defends Democrats who jumped on Thursday's Buzzfeed story that was debunked by special counsel Robert Mueller's office by noting that they all qualified their statements with, "if this is true."
"When you preface your statement with 'if this is true,' that, to me, gives you all the cover you need," Clyburn said on FOX News Sunday. "If they had said something as if it were true, then that would be one thing to be concerned about, but they've all said, 'if this is true.'"
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS SUNDAY: Congressman, I want to switch to two other subjects before we let you go. First, "BuzzFeed". Special counsel Robert Mueller, as I just discussed with the vice president, knocked down the "BuzzFeed" story that the special counsel had evidence that the president directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
Now, as soon -- before he did, before he knocked the story down, House Democrats jumped on the story.
I want to read a couple of the quotes from what they said. Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, said: We don't know if it's true, of course, but already, people of course are saying this is the matter of the gravest urgency.
David Cicilline said, congressman from Rhode Island: If true, this is I think the most serious threat to the Trump presidency that we've seen so far.
Should your members be more cautious, because it almost seemed in this rush to judgment as if there were a lot of House Democrats that want to impeach the president.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN: Well, Chris, when you preface your statement with 'if this is true,' that, to me, gives you all the cover you need. And I would say that. If it is true -- now, if they had said something as if it were true then that would be one thing to be concerned about, but they've all said if this is true. There are a lot of things that I hear daily. If it were true I would be concerned about it.
Sometimes, you would preface it with that and sometimes you just don't say anything.
So I don't think that my Democratic friends in any way rushing to judgment because the qualified right upfront, if this is true.