Giuliani Admits Trump May Have Spoken to Cohen About Congressional Testimony After All

Who lets this guy go on TV?

Is it just us, or do his television appearances only get more and more confusing?State of the Union/CNN

Every time Rudy Giuliani goes on television to defend his client from charges of collusion and obstruction, he appears to shift the legal goal posts to protect the person at the center of the scandal: President Donald J. Trump. Today, during his usual circuit on the Sunday morning news shows, Giuliani admitted it was possible that Trump had in fact spoken with former personal attorney Michael Cohen ahead of his testimony to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union, Giuliani characterized such an exchange as “perfectly normal,” though he wasn’t positive it had taken place. “I don’t know if it happened or didn’t happen,” he said, noting the conversation would have taken place before Giuliani came on board. “I have no knowledge that he spoke to him.”

To add to the confusion, Giuliani also asserted that it was “not possible” that Trump had any say in what Cohen told the House and Senate intelligence committees. “The guy driving this testimony was Michael Cohen,” he said.

Giuliani’s assertion adds a layer of intrigue to the debate as to whether Trump had instructed Cohen to lie about the president’s involvement in his family-led company’s negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. On Friday, Buzzfeed reported that Trump had taken an active role in directing Cohen, according to two federal law enforcement officials; the story, which outlined alleged criminality on the part of the president, dominated Friday’s news cycle, and Democratic lawmakers argued it could represent a certain end to the Trump presidency.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team disputed the reporting and offered a rare public statement denying the claims. “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.”

During another Sunday morning news show appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Giuliani also affirmed previous statements that plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow remained active as late as November of 2016. The assertion further undermines Cohen’s claim that the project had concluded in January 2016, something Mueller characterized as an attempt to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1″—President Trump—in an effort to curtail the Russia investigation.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.