- Screenshot via CNN.com
- President Donald Trump’s lead defense attorney Rudy Giuliani addressed a number of issues facing President Donald Trump’s administration in a marathon interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning.
- Giuliani said Trump was “adamant in wanting” to sit down for an interview with the special counsel Robert Mueller.
- When host Dana Bash pressed Giuliani on whether he thought special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe was legitimate, he said, “not anymore.”
President Donald Trump’s lead defense attorney Rudy Giuliani had a marathon interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning.
He addressed several of the Trump administration’s current stances on the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which he referred to as a “rigged investigation”, borrowing one of Trump’s choice adjectives.
When Bash pointed out the investigation had already brought charges against 22 people and items, including 13 indictments of Russians, Giuliani walked back his his description to say he didn’t think Mueller is illegitimate, but the “basis on which he was appointed was illegitimate.”
When host Bash pressed to confirm he thought the Mueller probe is legitimate, Giuliani answered “not anymore, I did when I came in” citing the recently revealed controversy that Trump is calling “spygate.”
Reports surfaced last week that an FBI informant met with members of the Trump campaign to discover Russian efforts to influence the US election. Trump has called the informant a “spy” – a term current and former intelligence officials have refuted.
.@DanaBashCNN: “So you think that the Mueller probe is legitimate?"
— CNN (@CNN) May 27, 2018
Giuliani also defended Trump’s demands for a briefing on the previously confidential informant used by the FBI, saying he “has every right to know as Commander-in-Chief,” and since the “investigation revealed nothing new, to us that’s exculpatory, should be very easy to brief us.”
When host Dana Bash pointed out Trump’s candidacy in the campaign in question makes him the direct subject of the investigation, Giuliani doubled down on Trump’s “right to know” and said the revelation of the source “means an investigation we thought was rigged was rigged from the very beginning, it never should have started.”
Trump tweeted last week a demand for an investigation of FBI surveillance of his campaign.
On Thursday, top White House officials and lawmakers attended a classified briefing to get more details on the FBI informant and the Russia investigation.
National security and legal experts told Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth they were “gobsmacked” that White House officials were at that briefing, since it was disclosing details related to the president, whose campaign is at the center of the Russia probe.
Topics for Mueller’s interview with Trump
Giuliani said an interview between Mueller and Trump would probably be limited to collusion and obstruction. He said he felt “pretty comfortable with because there has been none,” but isn’t as comfortable as Trump is with potential obstruction.
“The president is fine with it, he’s innocent,” Giuliani said. “I’m not comfortable with it because it’s a matter of interpretation, not hard-and-fast true, not true.”
He then misspoke while offering the example of Trump firing former FBI Director James Comey, saying instead “firing Mueller”, before back-tracking to assure Trump isn’t considering ousting the special counsel. Giuliani continued to suggest Comey’s firing could be seen as obstructing the investigation instead of just “removing a guy who was doing a bad job.”
Giuliani on Mueller limiting the scope of an interview: “They would probably limit it to collusion and obstruction. The collusion part, we’re pretty comfortable with … The obstruction part, I’m not as comfortable with … The President's fine with it” https://t.co/fMSIsz0v8p
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 27, 2018
Giuliani finished his interview defending Trump’s insults of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, calling them “two clowns.” He then doubled down on his insults, calling Brennan “chief torturer in charge” and the “most political CIA director I’ve ever met.”
When Bash asked about the two officials’ decades of military service and public office experience, Giuliani denied any interest they might have in the public good.
“They’re not civil servants as far as I know,” he said. “There are a lot of people with decades of service, some good, some bad, and some get consumed with power.”
Clapper was in the CNN studio during Giuliani’s interview, and responded with a joke that getting called a “clown” wasn’t as bad as some of Trump’s insults of him.
Watch clips of the interview below: