President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani made an extraordinary statement during an appearance on Wednesday, Jan. 16. In a heated exchange with CNN's Chris Cuomo, the former mayor of New York City defended his position on what may have happened between his client and Russia in the 2016 presidential election, and it's understandable if it may be giving some people whiplash. Rudy Giuliani's comment on collusion in the Trump campaign is contradictory to, well, Giuliani's own comments earlier on that very topic.
Trump and Giuliani have long been sticking to the story that there was no collusion between himself or his campaign and Russian nationals. So it was jaw-dropping when Giuliani did a U-turn on that position in his Wednesday interview with Cuomo, saying that he "never said" that there hadn't been collusion from the campaign — just not from the president. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Giuliani's statement but didn't receive a response as of publication.
It all happened when Giuliani started complaining to Cuomo about what he called all the "false reporting" on the FBI investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Mr. Mayor, false reporting is saying ... that there has been no suggestion of any kind of collusion between the campaign and any Russians," Cuomo pushed back.
"You just misstated my position," Giuliani said. "I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign."
Cuomo protested that Giuliani had in fact said this in the past, which Giuliani denied, saying he'd held that Trump himself hadn't colluded. He added that Trump hasn't conspired with Russians in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the summer of 2016.
There's just one problem with Giuliani's statement: He said just the opposite only six months ago, The Washington Post reports. In a July interview, a Fox News host asked him whether it was "still the position of you and your client that there was no collusion with the Russians whatsoever on behalf of the Trump campaign." "Correct," Giuliani replied.
On Twitter, the virtual crowd erupted to Giuliani's remarkable statement and its sheer contradiction. Some characterized it as throwing Trump's campaign associates under the bus.
Many referenced how the president's lawyer's position has changed over time, that his most recent statement represented moving the "goal posts" of wrongdoing in incremental degree.
Others speculated what it might mean that Giuliani did such an about-face on his position on collusion.
Moreover, Giuliani's refusal to say there was no collusion with Trump's campaign went directly against the line Trump himself has routinely stuck with. He's said numerous times that there was "no collusion" at all between his campaign and Russians, tweeting as such at least 60 times since May 2017, per the Trump Twitter Archive.
In those tweets, the president has specifically denied both collusion on the part of Trump himself, and collusion in the Trump campaign more broadly, with Russia.
Giuliani's denial Wednesday, saying he'd "never" said that, came just days after Trump addressed The New York Times' report that the FBI investigated him over concerns that he may've been working as an agent of Russia, saying, "I never worked for Russia." It was noted that working for and being an agent of a country are different things, and he didn't address the later. He likewise didn't directly deny being an agent in a Jan. 12 Fox News interview. The White House didn't respond to Elite Daily request for comment on the Times' report as of publication.
In the interview Wednesday, Cuomo and Giuliani also discussed the recent news about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, which revealed (thanks to a sloppy redaction job by his lawyers) that investigators believed he'd shared polling data with a Russian associate linked to the country's intelligence, as well as Giuliani's position on releasing Special Counsel Mueller's eventual report. Giuliani confirmed that he wanted the American public to be able to see the report, barring any national security reasons for withholding it, adding that he wanted his team to be able to review it first to craft a response.
As of yet, there's no indication when or if the public will get to see Mueller's eventual report— and have the chance to see for themselves whether they agree with Giuliani's position.