Rudy Giuliani claimed on Monday that “collusion is not a crime” while declaring President Trump is “absolutely innocent” in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime,” Giuliani said Monday on “Fox & Friends.” “Collusion is not a crime.”
In an interview on CNN, the former New York City mayor also raised the same assertion and suggested that Trump would have had to pay Russian operatives directly to be involved.
“I don’t even know if that’s a crime – colluding with Russians,” Giuliani said on CNN. “Hacking is the crime. The president didn’t hack. He didn’t pay for the hacking.”
As recently as last week, Giuliani was defending Trump by saying he had no advance knowledge of a meeting his son, Donald Trump Jr., and several campaign associates had with a Kremlin-linked lawyer at the Trump Tower in June 2016.
Giuliani’s comments were in response to Michael Cohen saying he was prepared to tell Mueller that then-candidate Trump was aware his son was going to take the meeting with a Russian who claimed having dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime fixer, said he was with Donald Junior when he told his dad about the meeting and got the go-ahead to the sitdown also attended by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort.
The president has claimed he didn’t know about the meeting until July 2017 when it was revealed in media reports.
He asserted his contention again in a tweet on Friday while taking a shot at Cohen’s credibility.
“I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam,” he wrote about Cohen.
“I’m happy to tell Mueller that Trump wasn’t at the Trump Tower meeting,” Giuliani told CNN, adding that knows because “Cohen is a liar, and Don Jr. says he wasn’t there.”
Giuliani also said he couldn’t say whether Trump would pardon Cohen, who’s being investigated by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for bank and wire fraud.
“Nobody should proceed on the assumption that President Trump’s going to pardon. Nobody. They should make the decisions about their lives based on the fact that they’ve got to deal with whatever the government is offering them or not offering them, how honest or dishonest they want to be,” Giuliani said. “Now on the other hand, if the president believes an unjust situation happens, of course, like any other president, he’ll pardon.”
So far, Mueller has gotten six guilty pleas, indictments against 25 Russian nationals and three Russian businesses, and Manafort goes to trial on Tuesday for bank and tax fraud.
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