Following the panic trigged by his freewheeling TV interviews earlier this week, in which he acknowledged for the first time that President Trump reimbursed attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, former New York City mayor and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani released a statement Friday afternoon to “clarify the views I expressed.”
In the statement, he emphasized again that “there is no campaign violation” from the payment to buy Daniels’ silence, made in secret during the final days of the 2016 campaign.
“The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President’s family,” Giuliani wrote. “It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”
He then tried to walk back his on-air claim that President Trump was aware of the payment: “My references to timing were not describing my understanding of the President’s knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.”
He then adds that Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, who he called an “inferior executive officer,” was “well within [Trump’s] Article II power.”
“Recent revelations about former Director Comey further confirm the wisdom of the President’s decision, which was plainly in the best interest of the nation,” he wrote.
Giuliani’s statement came a few hours after Trump suggested to the White House press corps that his newly-hired attorney was misinformed when he appeared on TV to discuss the President’s legal woes.
“When Rudy made the statement, Rudy’s great, but Rudy had just started, and he wasn’t totally familiar with everything,” Trump said Friday morning. “We love Rudy, he’s a special guy,” he added.
Read Giuliani’s full statement below: