Rudy Giuliani in a new interview denied a BuzzFeed report that President Trump directed his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, claiming he had listened to audiotapes — but almost in the same breath contradicted himself and said they didn’t exist.
On Sunday, Giuliani, the president’s current lawyer, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he was “100 percent certain” that Trump did not tell Cohen to lie to lawmakers about an effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
BuzzFeed’s story drew a rare denial from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, though the news outlet said it stood by its reporting.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Giuliani was asked why he concluded the report was false.
“Because I have been through all the tapes, I have been through all the texts, I have been through all the emails, and I knew none existed,” he said.
“And then, basically, when the special counsel said that, just in case there are any others I might not know about, they probably went through others and found the same thing.”
The mag’s Isaac Chotiner asked him what tapes he just said he had listened to.
“I shouldn’t have said tapes,” Giuliani said, backtracking. “They alleged there were texts and emails that corroborated that Cohen was saying the president told him to lie. There were no texts, there were no emails, and the president never told him to lie.”
Giuliani also distanced himself from comments he made Sunday in which he claimed Trump and his aides had been involved in discussions about the Moscow project well into the 2016 campaign — even possibly as late as October or November of that year.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty in November, had previously claimed such discussions ended in January 2016, but in his admission of guilt, he called the previous statement a lie and said the discussions went through June 2016.
In a cleanup statement Monday, Giuliani called his remarks to the New York Times “hypothetical and not based on any conversations I had with the president.”
The Times also reported that Trump had said discussions about the project in Moscow were “’going on from the day I announced to the day I won,’” attributing the quote to the former New York City mayor.
“I did not say that,” Giuliani told Chotiner. “I don’t know if they made it up. What I was talking about was, if he had those conversations, they would not be criminal.”
Giuliani also was asked if he worries that his defense of the president could affect his legacy.
“Absolutely. I am afraid it will be on my gravestone. ‘Rudy Giuliani: He lied for Trump,’” he said.
“Somehow, I don’t think that will be it. But, if it is, so what do I care? I’ll be dead. I figure I can explain it to St. Peter. He will be on my side, because I am, so far … I don’t think, as a lawyer, I ever said anything that’s untruthful,” he added.
“I have a sense of ethics that is as high as anybody you can imagine.”
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