Last night Rudy Giuliani dramatically shifted his defense of the President, claiming that he’d never denied there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. That’s obviously false. He claimed it a million times. The point though is what he’s now claiming, or rather unwilling to claim. Giuliani now only claims that the President himself did not collude with Russia. Indeed, he makes a further, related claim that the only potential crime would be if President Trump was personally involved in the hacking of DNC servers and email accounts or paid those who did.
In an interview with NBC and a written statement today, he’s now trying to claim those remarks last night have been misrepresented. But his follow up statements are actually the same, just with less fireworks. He is claiming only that President Trump isn’t personally guilty. He makes no claims about anyone else in the campaign.
For your reference here’s the main exchange from last night on CNN.
LOL Rudes: I Never Said No One in The Trump Campaign Colluded with Russia! pic.twitter.com/JvOTE3lvxY
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 17, 2019
And here’s part of his follow up clean-up statement: “I represent only President Trump not the Trump campaign. There was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form. Likewise, I have no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign.”
This is a less suggestive way of putting it. But it’s the same. He’s now only willing to say Trump personally didn’t collude. Anyone else on the campaign, he won’t say.
It’s a perfectly reasonable surmise, indeed almost certain that the line wrongdoing Giuliani is no longer willing to explicit deny is the line of wrongdoing he believes will eventually be proven. We’ve seen this pattern repeatedly for more than a year.