In a Monday morning media blitz, Rudy Giuliani continued to move the goal post on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign had any involvement in it, saying collusion is not a crime.
The comments from Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, are a far cry from the dozens of tweets, statements and outbursts Trump has made for more than a year and a half in which he has vehemently denied colluding with the Russians in their hacking scheme to influence the election.
“I’ve been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a federal crime,” Giuliani said on Fox & Friends Monday morning. “Collusion is not a crime. Everything that’s been released so far shows the president to be absolutely innocent; he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Giuliani continued that line of defense on CNN.
“I don’t even know if that’s a crime, colluding about Russians. You start analyzing the crime — the hacking is the crime. The president didn’t hack,” Giuliani said on CNN. “He didn’t pay them for hacking.”
That wasn’t the only wild assertion Giuliani made on his tour of cable news stations Monday morning. Giuliani dodged when asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota about whether Trump knew about the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting — in which a Kremlin-connected lawyer offered Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort dirt on Hillary Clinton.
“I’m happy to tell Mueller that Trump wasn’t at the Trump Tower meeting,” Giuliani said.
Of course, whether or not Trump was there is not the question.
CNN reported that Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen claims the president did in fact know about the Trump Tower meeting. This is despite Trump’s dictated statement after the meeting was publicly revealed in which he denied knowing about it.
Donald Trump Jr. also testified under oath in an interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee that his father didn’t know about the meeting. If that ends up being false, Trump Jr. could be charged with lying to Congress.
Giuliani’s loose lips on cable news could be detrimental to Trump’s legal defense, one of Trumps former lawyers said on CNN Friday.
“I knew as soon as Giuliani spoke that he was damaging Trump’s case immeasurably,” Jay Goldberg, Trump’s former divorce lawyer, said on CNN. “It ranks near 100 in terms of damage.”