Trump not sold on Giuliani defense

May 09, 2018, 01:16
Trump not sold on Giuliani defense

Giuliani caught the White House off guard last week when he told Fox News' host Sean Hannity that Trump was aware of a $130,000 payment his personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels in October 2016 to remain quiet about an alleged affair a decade earlier.

As negotiations continue on whether and how Donald Trump will provide testimony to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Russian Federation investigation, Rudy Giuliani says Mueller has already rejected a proposal to have him answer questions only in writing.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening that Trump's lawyers hope to decide by May 17 whether to agree to a sit-down interview between Trump and Mueller-who already has said he will subpoena the president if the two sides can not reach an agreement.

Giuliani told the Post that the reimbursement came out of a $35,000 monthly retainer that Trump was paying Cohen.

Meyers responded, "Yes they are".

Although Trump has hinted that such a move could be coming, there has been no formal announcement by the USA government, which is in detailed talks with North Korea at the moment to plan a historic summit between Kim and Trump.

"If that doesn't give you nightmares, I give up", Kimmel said.

He also managed to voice a confident-sounding, if wholly fictitious, rationale for Trump to stonewall special counsel Robert Mueller. "No one knows what's going on, which means reasonable doubt".

"I think their strategy right now is to put somebody out there who's even nuttier than Trump, to make him look normal by comparison, and it's working", Kimmel marveled. But it's really a political strategy.

Giuliani suggested during an interview on "Fox & Friends" on Thursday morning that such an allegation being made public would have been politically damaging to Trump. The next day, Trump tweeted almost a dozen times. He believes that it would take several days to prepare the president for this kind of interview and he would not want to take him away from preparing for talks with North Korea.

One official attributed Giuliani's free-wheeling comments to a misunderstanding of his role - which is no longer as a "principal", but as a surrogate for Trump.

However, the AP reported that Trump is not considering firing Giuliani but may block him from making more television appearances. Giuliani's remarks were viewed inside the White House as detrimental to those efforts, the officials said, since it upped the stakes for the President.

Officials inside the West Wing, who have been exasperated by Giuliani's string of brazen cable news appearances, have joked among themselves that he has unofficially replaced Michael Anton, the National Security Council spokesman who quit last month.

A reporter then asked if Trump knew where Cohen got the money to make the payment.

"He speaks for himself and not on behalf of the administration on foreign policy", Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, said.