President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani made the rounds on the Sunday shows doing what he does best: purposely muddying the waters to distort the facts about the president’s actions regarding Russia and payments to women in exchange for their silence.
On Fox News Sunday, Giuliani got into contentious exchanges with host Chris Wallace in an interview uncharacteristic of the network’s typical softballs. The entire segment is well worth a watch to see how Giuliani becomes increasingly unhinged as the conversation continues.
Wallace opened the interview with a direct question: Did the president direct Michael Cohen to make payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, as Cohen claims?
Of course, Giuliani denied Trump had knowledge of the payments until after the fact and impugned Cohen’s character, calling him a “complete, pathological liar.”
“The real question is the credibility of the president, not Michael Cohen,” Wallace responded. And he kept pushing, asking if the president directed Cohen to make the payments to the two women.
“We’re talking about something that doesn’t matter,” Giuliani said. “Whether it happened or it didn’t happen, it’s not illegal.”
“You’re moving shells around me,” Wallace accused. “Either it happened or it didn’t happen.”
“But that’s what lawyers do all the time. You argue in the alternative,” Giuliani replied.
“I want the truth, sir,” Wallace shot back.
“The truth is the tape recorded conversation did take place. It exonerates the president,” Giuliani responded.
Wallace later asked him whether Trump would sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is in charge of the Russia investigation.
“Good luck! After what they did to [former national security advisor Michael] Flynn, the way they trapped him into perjury… They’re a joke. Over my dead body,” Giuliani replied, and then hedged, in typical lawyerly fashion, “But, you know, I could be dead.”
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) December 16, 2018
On ABC’s This Week, Giuliani continued to bash Cohen as a liar to host George Stephanopoulos. “Pathetic. The man is pathetic,” Giuliani said when describing Cohen. “Unless you’re God, this man, you will never know what the truth is.”
It should be noted, however, that Giuliani has not always felt this way about Cohen. Only six months ago, on the very same program, Giuliani said of Cohen: “The man is an honest, honorable lawyer.”
Stephanopoulos pushed back, noting that Cohen is not the only one making allegations. The Southern District of New York also wrote in Cohen’s sentencing memo that Trump directed him to make the payments. “They write, with respect to both payments, Cohen acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual one. That’s in their own words. Of course individual one, the president,” Stephanopoulos said. “They wouldn’t write that if they didn’t have corroborating evidence, would they?”
“They don’t have corroborating evidence,” Giuliani replied. “Plus, they didn’t let Cohen plead guilty to a conspiracy. I ran that office. I know what they do.”
But later in the conversation, Giuliani reversed himself when he got painted into a corner and admitted, “No, I don’t know — actually, I don’t know how the Southern District [works].”
Giuliani then tried to justify Trump’s payments to McDougal and Daniels because, you see, the payments had a dual purpose: to silence these women before the election and to prevent Trump’s family from finding out.
“It has to be for the sole purpose. If there’s another purpose [to the payment], it’s no longer a campaign contribution if there‘s a personal purpose,” Giuliani said, referring to the John Edwards case as a similar example. “Now think about this — suppose he tried to use his campaign funds to pay off Stormy Daniels. It would be totally illegal. If it’s not a campaign expense, it can’t be a campaign contribution. These are not campaign contributions.”
Because now we’re supposed to believe that the man who practically litigated his divorce from his first wife through the tabloids all of a sudden became concerned that his family might find out he’s cheating? Of all the whoppers Giuliani has told to defend Donald Trump, that might be his biggest one yet.