On “Fox News Sunday” this weekend, President Trump’s lead legal representative former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, told host Chris Wallace that his client would sit down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller “over my dead body.”
Asked about Mueller’s desire to interview the president, Giuliani scoffed, “Yes, good luck. Good luck. After what they did to Flynn, the way they trapped him into perjury and no sentence for him, 14 days for Papadopoulos. I did better on traffic violations than they did with Papadopoulos … “
When Wallace asked for clarification about what Giuliani meant by “good luck,” the former prosecutor made his opinion of the special counsel investigators and their interview hopes even more clear.
“They’re a joke,” he said. “Over my dead body, but you know, I could be dead.”
“I am disgusted with the tactics they have used in this case,” he added later. “What they did to General Flynn should result in discipline. They’re the ones who are violating the law. They’re looking at a non-crime collusion, the other guys are looking at a non-crime campaign violations, which are not violations. And they are the ones who are violating the law, the rules, the ethics and nobody wants to look at them. They destroyed Strzok and Page’s texts, 19,000 texts.”
While Wallace attempted to slow the lawyer’s roll a few times, Giuliani just kep on going. “If he had destroyed 19,000 texts, they’d put him in jail,” he continued. “Even though they can’t because he’s the president.”
Wallace quickly wrapped up the conversation, with Giuliani offering something of an apology.
Prior to the Mueller rant, Giuliani defended Flynn, whom he described as having been “railroaded” by the FBI. Wallace asked Giuliani if Flynn had indeed lied to the FBI and whether Trump believed he had lied.
“[Trump] didn’t know at the time — I didn’t know at the time — I didn’t know at the time that the FBI had previously concluded [Flynn] was telling the truth,” said Giuliani. “I didn’t know [Flynn] had been deprived of a lawyer.”
“Mayor, you’re confusing people,” said Wallace.
“I’m not confusing people,” said Giuliani, laughing. “The man was railroaded. He was railroaded.”
Before the discussion of the FBI’s mistreatment of Flynn, Giuliani told Wallace that Trump’s “fixer”-turned-“rat” Michael Cohen was telling the truth about paying “hush money” to Trump’s former alleged paramours — that is, before he lied about it in his plea deal with Robert Mueller. Guiliani also emphatically addressed the question of whether or not Trump was scheduling a meeting with the special counsel: “They’re a joke. Over my dead body, but you know, I could be dead.”
WALLACE: And joining me now from New York, the president’s lead lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Mayor, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.
RUDY GUILIANI, LEAD LAWYER, DONALD TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you — thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Let’s start with Michael Cohen’s allegation that President Trump directed him to commit a criminal campaign finance violation. Here first was the president and then Mr. Cohen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I never directed him to do anything wrong. Whatever he did, he did on his own. He’s a lawyer. A lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do the right thing.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER, DONALD TRUMP: He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Question. Did Mr. Trump direct Michael Cohen to pay off these two women or not?
GIULIANI: No, the truth is actually what Cohen testified to under oath before Congress and what he repeated numerous times on surreptitious tape recordings that he made, which is that the president didn’t know about this until some time into it, he did find out about it and eventually reimburse him. But, you know, this is a hard thing to do, but lawyers do this all the time.
But, Chris, even if it were true, it’s not a crime. The payment — the payment of money in a situation like this has been covered in the Edwards case. Not only the acquittal and hung jury in the Edwards case, but the fact that the FEC looked at those Edwards violations and determined they weren’t violations —
WALLACE: I promise we’re going to get to that in a minute, but let’s get to the simple fact, question of whether the president directed Cohen —
WALLACE: — to make these —
WALLACE: — payments or not.
Cohen says that the president is not to be believed. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it’s sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mayor — Mayor —
GIULIANI: That’s some lawyer. That is some lawyer. He was the lawyer in that situation.
WALLACE: But does the president tell the truth or not?
GIULIANI: The president is telling the truth, yes. This man is lying.
Now, is that a big surprise to you that Michael Cohen is lying? The man got up in front of the judge and said I was a fiercely loyal to Donald Trump. Nonsense he was fiercely loyal to him, he taped him, lied to him, revealed the tape and did something a lawyer I’ve never heard ever did — tape record his own client.
WALLACE: But — but, sir —
GIULIANI: He sat there with Chris Cuomo, told him he wasn’t being taped, showed him a drawer (ph), and he lied to him and taped him for two hours. The man is a complete pathological liar that cannot be believed.
WALLACE: But, sir, let’s — let’s turn to —
GIULIANI: And they’ll never put him on a witness stand. They will never – – Chris —
WALLACE: Yes, but let me ask you —
GIULIANI: — they will never put him on a witness stand.
WALLACE: I understand. But does the question — the real question is the credibility of the president, not the credibility of Michael Cohen —
GIULIANI: No, no —
WALLACE: Let me just finish. The president has changed his story repeatedly about whether or not he knew about hush money. Here is what he said on Air Force One — the president said on Air Force One this April, eight months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
TRUMP: No. No. What else?
REPORTER: Then why did Michael Cohen make those if there was no truth to her allegations?
TRUMP: Well, you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney and you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.
REPORTER: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
TRUMP: No, I don’t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: The president said he doesn’t know anything about any payments, but in one of those tapes that you’re talking about where Cohen surreptitiously taped the president — this is back in September of 2016 — here are the president and Cohen discussing a potential —
WALLACE: Let’s listen to the tape first.
GIULIANI: Sure, sure. I remember it well.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
COHEN: I’m all over that. And I spoke to Allen about it. When it comes time for the financing, which will be —
TRUMP: Wait a sec, what financing?
COHEN: Well, I’ll have to pay —
TRUMP: Pay with cash —
COHEN: No. No, no, no, no, no.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WALLACE: So which is it? Did the president know about the hush money payments or not?
GIULIANI: Chris, there’s an intervening event that you’re not talking about. I know this really well because I got criticized for revealing this when I first came into the case. Nobody really understood why I was doing it.
When I first came into the case, we went through the whole case. The president saw some notes and documents, thought about it, and I went out and said, no, there was an intervening conversation after the payments took place and before the revelations you’re talking about on Air Force One.
The president did talk to Cohen or to people in between and they arranged to reimburse Cohen. This was after the payment was made, after it was over, after the campaign was over.
WALLACE: But — but there’s —
WALLACE: They’re talking about a conversation, sir, in September of 2016 during the campaign. The president is clearly aware that David Pecker, the head of “National Enquirer” had paid off Karen McDougal and they’re talking about reimbursing McDougal —
GIULIANI: Well, you know, that’s —
WALLACE: — or reimbursing Pecker for that payment.
GIULIANI: But there’s a — there’s a big difference here. That was a – that was a conversation he was asked, middle of the campaign, I was with him back then in the middle of the campaign, he’s working 18 hours a day. I wasn’t able to remember a lot of things that happened in September of 2016. He was asked it one time.
When he sat down with his lawyer and went through it in great detail and saw things that could refresh his recollection, we immediately corrected it.
Nobody pushed us, nobody found it, we found it. And we corrected it and I got criticized like crazy for doing it.
WALLACE: So you’re saying —
GIULIANI: By the time this came out, we all knew —
WALLACE: — the fact — I mean, the — according both to Cohen and to Pecker, the — again, he’s the head of — or was the head of National Enquirer, they say they were in a meeting with Donald Trump —
GIULIANI: Chris, Chris, Chris —
WALLACE: — in the summer of 2016 in which —
GIULIANI: It doesn’t matter.
WALLACE: — they discussed the payment to Karen McDougal.
GIULIANI: We’re talking about something that doesn’t matter. I mean, whether – whether it happened or didn’t happen, it’s not illegal.
WALLACE: You’re moving shells around on me. Either it happened or it didn’t happen.
GIULIANI: But that’s what lawyers do all the time. You argue in the alternative. I’m telling it —
WALLACE: But I’m asking you for the truth, sir.
GIULIANI: I’m telling you definitively — well, I — I want the truth too. And the truth is, yes, the tape-recorded conversation did take place. It exonerates the president. The president tells Cohen, do it by check.
I’m sorry, I prosecuted thousands of crimes, never prosecuted one where they wanted to hide something, they did it by check.
Make sure we pay him back. They paid him back. That’s what that conversation’s all about. It exonerates him.
I’d play that conversation in front of any jury in America and I’d cross- examine Cohen in front of any jury in America.
WALLACE: OK, here’s what you’re telling —
GIULIANI: But I — but very important; Cohen did not plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the campaign finance laws. If they were going to use him as a witness against anybody, you always make them plea guilty to a conspiracy so you can fill the conspiracy in.
He pled guilty to a singular crime of violating the campaign finance laws. Not a conspiracy.
WALLACE: Yes, but the statement is full of references to individual one who is Donald Trump. Here’s what you told the —
GIULIANI: It doesn’t matter.
WALLACE: Here’s what you told “The Daily Beast” this week. I want to put it up on the screen.
Nobody got killed. Nobody got robbed. This was not a big crime.
Mayor, what’s the threshold between a crime and a big crime?
GIULIANI: My statement there was about the prosecutor’s view of it, not mine. Mr. Swinger (ph) who wrote that, actually corrected that, to say that that was taken out of context. My point was, there was no crime.
But even if you take the prosecutor’s viewpoint, this prosecutor was appointed — both of them, right, looking at collusion, no collusion. Looking at obstruction —
WALLACE: No, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. Sir, this was the Southern District of New York. This is not — has nothing to do with collusion —
GIULIANI: But now you’re —
WALLACE: — or obstruction of justice, there —
GIULIANI: Now, you’re – they’re part of the Department of Justice — he’s not being investigated —
WALLACE: I understand it’s a separate prosecutor. I’m sure — I’m sure when you were the —
GIULIANI: Yes, this guy — this guy is going back —
WALLACE: I’m sure – I’m sure when you were the U.S. attorney for the Southern District —
GIULIANI: And this guy is going back —
WALLACE: You didn’t take orders from somebody in Washington who had nothing to do with the attorney general. You were your own — they used to call it a sovereign district of New York, sir.
GIULIANI: The person — the person in charge of this investigation, Chris, is Rod Rosenstein the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. He is the boss of Mueller and he is the boss of the Southern District of New York. He’s the one that determined, let’s move it over here. He put it there in the Southern District of New York and keeps supervision of it.
WALLACE: I know —
GIULIANI: So don’t give me that.
WALLACE: But they’re not —
WALLACE: But they’re not — they’re not working for —
GIULIANI: There is one Justice Department — yes they are. They’re working for the same Rod — Rod Rosenstein’s going to make the decision, not Mueller, about what to do with this case.
WALLACE: Right, and not Mueller.
GIULIANI: And this is a witch-hunt. They are going back now — they’re going back to 1982, 1983. They’re going through business records. My goodness, they went from collusion to obstruction, no evidence — now campaign finance, no violation of the law.
No matter who’s right about what they said, it’s no violation of the law. And now —
WALLACE: The president — I — I want to — I want to move on. You’re — you’re very a effective lawyer, but I’ve got — I’ve got to move on, sir.
President Trump —
GIULIANI: You wanted the truth. That’s the truth. The truth is it’s not a violation of the law.
WALLACE: I want — I want the truth in a limited amount of time.
President Trump talked this week about whether or not General Flynn lied to the FBI. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They took a general that they said didn’t lie, and they convinced him he did lie and he made some kind of a deal. And now, they’re recommending no time. You know why? Because they’re embarrassed that they’ve got caught.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Does the president believe Michael Flynn lied or not?
GIULIANI: I don’t know if Michael Flynn lied or not. You got two contradictory things. You’ve got the FBI saying at the time that he wasn’t lying. And then we have no explanation and the guy pleads guilty to lying.
So, I — I mean, I don’t know what happened in between. I do know they treated Flynn in a way that came very close to —
WALLACE: I’m asking a simple — I’m asking a simple question. And the reason I ask is I want to put up a tweet from the president a year ago, in December of 2017, when he says this: I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies.
The president a year ago seemed to know that Flynn has lied. Now, he’s not so sure.
GIULIANI: The president doesn’t know that he lied. The president — the president —
GIULIANI: But he — he knows what you knew at the time. The man pled guilty to lying. He did —
WALLACE: No, he knows — he knows what — he knows what Flynn said to his vice president.
GIULIANI: Yes, but that was a lie, but that’s not a crime.
WALLACE: Well, I understand but I didn’t ask if it was a crime, I asked whether it was a lie.
GIULIANI: Chris — Chris, you’re going all over the place and you’re really confusing people. Look, first of all —
GIULIANI: You are — you are — you are — you are — you are, really —
WALLACE: Wait a minute. I didn’t ask if it was a crime. I asked whether it was a lie and he told the same lie to the FBI and to the vice president. And you’re quite right, lying to the vice president isn’t a lie, it’s not very good — but lying to the FBI —
WALLACE: — is a crime.
GIULIANI: Right. And the more important thing about what the president knew or didn’t know — because this doesn’t involve the president in terms of him being involved in any kind of conspiracy or anything else — it’s like if it’s reported that one of my assistants when I was a U.S. attorney lied to the court, how do I know if he did or he didn’t? He knows what he reads. The man pled guilty to lying —
WALLACE: OK. I got — I got one minute —
GIULIANI: — so, yes. He didn’t know at the time — I didn’t know at the time — I didn’t know at the time that the FBI had previously concluded he was telling the truth.
WALLACE: I got a —
GIULIANI: I didn’t know he had been deprived of a lawyer.
WALLACE: Mayor, you’re confusing people.
GIULIANI: I’m not confusing people.
WALLACE: All right. Let me ask you —
GIULIANI: The man was railroaded.
WALLACE: — three last quick questions.
GIULIANI: He was railroaded.
WALLACE: There are — there are reports now that the special counsel is interested again in interviewing the president. Has his office reached out to you about sitting down for an in-person interview with the president?
GIULIANI: Yes. There are several unpaid parking tickets that night — back in 1986, ’87 that haven’t been explained. You know, we’ve got to —
GIULIANI: Seriously, unpaid parking tickets —
WALLACE: No, no, no.
GIULIANI: It was a movie theater. He didn’t pay the proper fee.
WALLACE: Is the special counsel — does he want to interview the president?
GIULIANI: Yes, good luck. Good luck. After what they did to Flynn, the way they trapped him into perjury and no sentence for him, 14 days for Papadopoulos. I did better on traffic violations than they did with Papadopoulos.
WALLACE: So, when you say good luck, you’re saying no way, no interview?
GIULIANI: They’re a joke. Over my dead body, but you know, I could be dead.
WALLACE: Do they want to speak to the president?
GIULIANI: I do have — I do have other lawyer — I am disgusted with the tactics they have used in this case. What they did to General Flynn should result in discipline. They’re the ones who are violating the law.
They’re looking at a non-crime collusion, the other guys are looking at a non-crime campaign violations, which are not violations. And they are the ones who are violating the law, the rules, the ethics and nobody wants to look at them. They destroyed Strzok and Page’s texts, 19,000 texts.
WALLACE: Mayor —
GIULIANI: If he had destroyed 19,000 texts, they’d put him in jail.
WALLACE: Mayor —
GIULIANI: Even though they can’t because he’s the president.
WALLACE: Mayor Giuliani.
WALLACE: Thank you.
GIULIANI: I got a little —
WALLACE: No, listen, I love it and please come back. To be continued.
Thank you for your time. Always good to talk to you, sir.
GIULIANI: Thank you. Thank you.