Just days after former Trump attorney and notorious turncoat Michael Cohen launched his unofficial PR campaign to lighten his three-year prison sentence ahead of his self-surrender deadline, the Trump legal team’s unofficial spokesman Rudy Giuliani made his triumphant return to the Sunday talk shows to defend the president against Cohen’s claims that Trump directed him to organize payoffs to two women who had been threatening to go public with stories of affairs with the president.
During an appearance on Fox News, Chris Wallace didn’t mince words. In his opening salvo, he asked Giuliani: “Did Mr. Trup direct Michael Cohen to pay off these two women or not?” Giuliani replied: “No…the president didn’t know about this until some time into it, and he did find out about it an eventually reimburse him.”
Furthermore “even if it were true, it’s not a crime. The payment of money…has been covered in the Edward’s case…even the FEC looked at those Edwards violations and determined they weren’t violations.”
And as for Cohen’s claims that he committed the campaign finance violations out of “blind loyalty” to the president, Giuliani pointed out that Cohen’s actions – including surreptitiously taping his conversations with the president – would seem to undercut these claims.
“Nonsense he was fiercely loyal to him. He lied to him…taped him…that’s something I’ve never heard any lawyer ever do,” Giuliani said.
Later in the interview, Wallace asked whether Trump would finally sit down with Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors for an in-person interview after turning in written responses to questions about allegations of Russian collusion. Though Giuliani had previously left open the possibility of an in-person interview, for the first time, Giuliani said he would never allow such a sit down to proceed.
“Over my dead body,” Giuliani said.
During another Sunday show interview, Giuliani sounded less adamant about prohibiting Trump from sitting down with Mueller, citing an agreement with Mueller that left open the possibility of an in-person interview after written answers had been submitted. The questions answered by Trump only covered events during the campaign, and didn’t address allegations of obstruction that arose after Trump took office.
“All I can tell you is the agreement contemplates our having discussions if there are any further follow-ups or questions, and there’s been no change in that agreement,” Giuliani said. “And when it’s concluded, we’ll tell you.”
Rebuffing Cohen’s claim, made in an ABC interview last week, that prosecutors possess “substantial” evidence to back up Cohen’s characterization of events, Giuliani described Cohen as a “serial liar” before joking that Mueller is currently investigating “several unpaid parking tickets form 1986.”
“The only things left are parking tickets and jaywalking,” Giuliani said.
Over the weekend, Trump stoked criticism of using “mobster-like” language in a tweet accusing the FBI of breaking into Cohen’s office (when, in fact, agents had warrants to search Cohen’s possessions).
Remember, Michael Cohen only became a “Rat” after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they break into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked’s office?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
If the pattern from the past few weeks holds, President Trump will issue some more scathing tweets about Cohen and Mueller this morning.