After a media firestorm over his “never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or people in the campaign” comment in an interview with CNN the day before, President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani issued a clarification to AP Thursday effectively asserting that he hadn’t said anything new.
“I represent only the president, not the campaign,” the former New York City mayor told AP in an interview Thursday. “And I can only speak of what I know, and that is that I have no knowledge that anyone on the campaign illegally colluded with Russia. But I can only speak definitively about the president, as he is my client.”
In another statement Thursday, he emphasized what he’d told CNN Wednesday: “there was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form” and he had “no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign,” AP reports.
The statements come in response to his widely reported interview with CNN’s left-leaning host Chris Cuomo Wednesday in which Giuliani stated that he’d “never said” individuals from the campaign hadn’t been in contact with Russia, only that his client Trump and the campaign in general had not “colluded” with Russia.
“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or people in the campaign,” Giuliani told Cuomo, The Daily Wire reported. “I have no idea if …”
“Yes, you have,” Cuomo interjected.
“I have not,” Giuliani responded. “I said the President of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the President of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspiring with the Russians to hack the DNC.”
“First of all, crime is not the bar of accountability for a president,” said Cuomo. “It’s about what you know, what was right and what was wrong, and what did you deceive about.”
“Well, he didn’t collude with Russia, either,” said Giuliani. “The president did not collude with the Russians, whatever ‘collusion’ is.”
In response to Cuomo insisting Trump said no one in his campaign colluded with Russia, Giuliani said, “He didn’t say nobody. He said he didn’t. How would you know nobody in your campaign …”
“He actually did say that,” said Cuomo, before qualifying his statement. “He said nobody, but then he said ‘as far as I know.'”
“Well, as far as he knows that’s true!” said Giuliani. “As far as the president knows, and as far as I know …”
As evidence of someone from the campaign that had contact with foreign agents, Cuomo pointed to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, asking how Trump didn’t know about his actions. Giuliani countered by asking why the media glossed over the fact that Republicans had a stronger position on Ukraine than Democrats and seemed disinterested in reporting on the FBI’s failure to find any evidence of a national security breach by the campaign.
Most of the media reports on the interview focus on Giuliani’s “never said” line, but fail to provide much of the follow-up discussion between Cuomo and the former prosecutor.
Watch the interview below: