Following a series of media appearances in which Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani made assertions contrary to previous White House statements, President Donald Trump on Friday publicly distanced himself from the former New York mayor’s recent remarks.
Prior to boarding Air Force One for a trip to Texas, the president insisted his attorney was not completely up to speed on the details of his legal situation prior to sitting down for this week’s interviews.
Giuliani initially made headlines in a Fox New Channel interview during which he said Trump repaid personal attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 spent to silence an adult film star in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Though that assertion flew in the face of previous comments by Trump, Cohen and assorted administration sources, the president subsequently seemed to acknowledge the new detail in a series of tweets.
Giuliani has since stoked confusion on other topics, including his apparently premature statement concerning the impending release from captivity of three Americans being held in North Korea.
Giuliani responded to the controversial comments, which reportedly caught many in the West Wing off guard, in CNN interview on Thursday.
“You won’t see daylight between me and the president,” he said. “The strategy is to get everything wrapped up and done with this so that it doesn’t take on a life of its own.”
Though it is unclear from Trump’s statements Friday exactly which statements he now wants to walk back, he said Giuliani “will get his facts straight” concerning an ongoing Justice Department probe into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“When Rudy made the statements, Rudy’s great, but Rudy had just started and he wasn’t totally familiar with everything,” he said. “And Rudy, we love Rudy. He’s a special guy, but he really understands that this is a witch hunt.”
Repeating his his frequent claim that the investigation is “a witch hunt,” Trump said Giuliani “understands this probably better than anybody.”
When it comes to specifics, though, the president expressed his belief that his attorney “made certain statements” beyond his level of comprehension.
While Giuliani’s addition to the presidential legal team was announced more two weeks ago, Trump claimed Friday that “he just started yesterday.”
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