Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Sunday called his own public statements “rumors” and contradicted them several times when pressed about a hush money payment made on Trump’s behalf to an adult film star.
Giuliani also said Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen, himself the subject of a months-long criminal investigation, could have made other such hush money payments.
In an interview with Giuliani Sunday, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked about an interview Giuliani gave to BuzzFeed News last week. The outlet reported:
In a conversation with BuzzFeed News, Giuliani later said that Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, “had complained to some people” after the 2016 election that he’d not been fully paid by Trump. At some point — Giuliani said he did not know when or where specifically — Cohen met with Trump and told him of his complaint. Giuliani said that Trump told Cohen, “We’ll cover your expenses,” and agreed to pay him $35,000 a month “out of his personal funds” over the course of a year-long period that began in the first few months of 2017 and has since ended.
“So the President did know about this after the campaign?” Stephanopoulos asked, pressing the Giuliani on Trump’s astonishing claim last month that he didn’t know the source of the payment to Daniels, months after the story broke.
“Can’t say that,” Giuliani said. “At some point, yes, but it could have been recently, it could have been awhile back. Those are the facts that we’re still working on and that, you know, may be in a little bit of dispute. This is more rumor than anything else.”
“But that’s what you said,” Stephanopoulos interjected. “You said that to Buzzfeed.”
“Well yeah,” Giuliani said. “That’s one of the possibilities, and one of the rumors.”
“You stated it as fact,” Stephanopoulos said.
“Well, maybe I did,” Giuliani admitted. “But right now, I’m at the point where I’m learning. And I can’t prove that. I can just say it’s rumored. I can prove it’s rumor. But I can’t prove it’s fact. Maybe we will.”
Stephanopoulos persisted: “You said, as a matter of fact, on “Hannity” and Buzzfeed, you talked to the Washington Post about it–”
“Well, I don’t know, how do you separate fact and opinion?” said Giuliani. “When I state an opinion, I’ll say this is my opinion. When I state a fact, I’ll say this is a fact.”
Later in the interview, Giuliani contradicted his statement to BuzzFeed again, saying that the agreement between Trump and Cohen was “longstanding” rather than something the two established after the election.
“The agreement with Michael Cohen, as far as I know, is a longstanding agreement, that Michael Cohen takes care of situations like this, then gets paid for them, sometimes,” he said. “Gets paid for them sometimes, gets reimbursed in another way. It depends on whether it’s business or personal.”
Stephanopoulos eventually asked whether Michael Cohen had made payments to other women on Trump’s behalf.
“I have no knowledge of that,” Giulini replied. “But I would think if it was necessary, yes. He made payments for the President. He conducted business for the President.”
“On the two main facts,” he continued. “Was it for another purpose, other than just campaign? Even if it was campaign? Yes, it was to settle a personal issue that would be embarrassing for him and his wife.”
“Number two, did he repay it over a period of time, and then find out, ultimately, what it was about? Yes, I’m comfortable with that. That’s 100 percent.”