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‘The man is pathetic’: Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani goes on offensive against Michael Cohen, prosecutors

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‘The man is pathetic’: Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani goes on offensive against Michael Cohen, prosecutors

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President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani urges Robert Mueller to “wrap the damn thing up” following the sentencing of Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen. Veuer’s Justin Kircher has the story.
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President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani attempted to defend his client Sunday by casting doubt on the testimony of those implicating Trump in a campaign finance violation, including the president’s former attorney Michael Cohen, whom he called “pathetic.” 

“The man is pathetic,” Giuliani told ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos. The former New York City mayor was reacting to a clip Stephanopoulos showed from an ABC interview with Cohen where Trump’s former personal attorney said the president directed him to make hush money payments to two women with full knowledge that those payments would break campaign finance law. 

Trump has denied Cohen’s allegations

“That’s a lawyer you were interviewing,” Giuliani said when asked about Cohen’s allegation. “He’s a lawyer. He’s a guy you depend on to determine whether or not you should do it this way, or that way. Whether you’re Donald Trump or whether you’re me or you.” 

Giuliani said Cohen told the truth in previous interviews and testimony when he claimed he took the initiative to pay the women and that Trump only learned of it after the fact.

More: Why hush money Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels was an illegal campaign donation

Cohen takeaways: Political and legal implications grow for White House

“OK, now he says the opposite. You’re going to tell me which is the truth? I think I know what the truth is,” Giuliani said. He called Cohen a “serial liar” who indefensibly taped his own client. “Unless you’re God” you will “never know what the truth is” with Cohen, he said, adding that Cohen would make a terrible witness for that reason. 

In May, before Cohen turned on Trump, Giuliani called him “an honest, honorable lawyer.”

Giuliani said that Cohen has “a real motivation to sing like crazy” and that “he will say whatever he has to say” to escape his three-year sentence. “He’s changed his story four or five times,” Giuliani said. 

“So has the president,” Stephanopoulos replied. 

“The president’s not under oath,” Giuliani said, explaining Trump did “the best he can to remember what happened back at a time when he was the busiest man in the world.”  

Stephanopoulos pointed out that David Pecker, the owner of the National Enquirer, appeared to corroborate Cohen’s allegation. Pecker admitted American Media Inc. paid $150,000 to a former Playboy model to buy her silence about an alleged past sexual affair with Trump. Pecker said the payment was made with the direct intent of protecting Trump’s presidential campaign. 

Giuliani said Pecker was lying to get immunity from special counsel Robert Mueller. He said another potential witness, conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, was not given immunity “because Corsi won’t say what they want him to say.”

“So I don’t know. I don’t know how true that is,” Giuliani said of Pecker’s testimony. 

The president’s attorney also strenuously denied that the payments to the women constituted a crime, and referred to a similar case involving former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards in which prosecutors were unable to secure a conviction. 

Giuliani said he was “disgusted with the Southern District” of New York, whose prosecutors have been pursuing the campaign finance violation, a felony to which Cohen pleaded guilty. 

“Why do you have so much trouble with the Southern District?” Stephanopoulos asked.

Giuliani said their “interpretation of the campaign finance law is completely erroneous.” And even if the payments might have been illegal, “you do not pursue a president of the United States for a questionable interpretation of the statute.”

Stephanopoulos asked if Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone told Trump about WikiLeaks’ plan to publish emails that were stolen by Russian intelligence operators from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. 

“I don’t believe so,” he said. But even if Stone did tell Trump about the plan to publish the hacked emails, “that’s not a crime,” he said. 

Giuliani said Mueller was “grasping for straws” in an effort to link the Trump campaign to Russian interference and that it was pressuring people like Corsi and former national security adviser Michael Flynn to lie against the president. 

Trump has submitted written answers to some questions from Mueller. When asked if Trump might answer more questions or talk with Mueller directly, Giuliani told Stephanopoulos that their agreement with Mueller “contemplates our having discussions if there are any further follow-ups or questions.” 

But when “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked Giuliani if Trump would sit down for an interview with Mueller, the attorney said, “over my dead body.” 

“But you know, I could be dead,” he said. 

Giuliani’s past attempts to shield his client from Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling have included some statements that drew criticism and mockery. In August, he said “truth isn’t truth” while explaining his reservations about Trump sitting down for an interview with Mueller. In another interview that month, he said facts are “in the eye of the beholder.” 

More: Rudy Giuliani accuses Twitter of anti-Trump conspiracy, editing his tweet to add typo

More: Rudy Giuliani says Trump is ‘honest’ because facts are ‘in the eye of the beholder’

Contributing: Kevin McCoy, Kevin Johnson, David Jackson 

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