Giuliani: Of Course Trump Negotiated With The Russians Up 'Til The Election. WHY EVER NOT?
Does Rudy Giuliani have a plan? Or is he just a demented squid lawyer who expels clouds of inky nonsense as he wriggles off into the murk? We just watched the Old Roods make the Sunday rounds again, and the answer is ... FUCK IF WE KNOW.
He started Sunday morning promising Jake Tapper that Donald Trump never spoke to any Russians ever, and also that he was negotiating to build Trump Tower Moscow ALL THE WAY UP UNTIL THE 2016 ELECTION. And if you think those things sound contradictory, just shout BUZZFEED five or six times to yourself, until the confusion goes away.
GIULIANI: [I]t was an early stage proposal that never got beyond a nonbinding letter of intent that was being run by -- by Michael Cohen. It was his project. And it was being done while Donald Trump was running for president of the United States, and wasn't focused on that at all.
TAPPER: Sure. OK, but he said, I have no business there. I have no business there. I have no deals there.
TAPPER: That's not true. He did...
GIULIANI: No, that is not inaccurate. That is not acc -- what you are saying is not accurate. I run a business. We do it in a lot of countries. I have proposals right now in six different countries. Two of them have been accepted. I'm doing business in the two that are accepted, not the four in which I have proposals.
Look here, Jake, Rudy Giuliani is a giant whore who'll take money from any murderous oligarch whose check clears, a fact he confirmed more or less verbatim to Chuck Todd in the 10 o'clock hour. So, just because Donald Trump signs a letter of intent in October of 2015 and his agent continues to negotiate with Kremlin agents up through the election and keeps Trump and his children minutely apprised doesn't mean Trump "has business" in Russia, okay? Also, BUZZFEED.
Asked about Michael Cohen's false testimony to Congress -- testimony he had reviewed in advance with Trump and which aligned almost perfectly with Don Jr.'s testimony -- Giuliani readily admitted that his client, the president, reviewed that false congressional testimony in advance. And isn't it a shame that a rough character like Cohen would lead poor, innocent Donald Trump down the garden path!
GIULIANI: The guy driving this testimony was Michael Cohen. In other words, you and I are in a deal together. You are the guy running it. I'm the guy sitting that is back there doing 50 other things. When it comes time to remember what happens, I go to you and you tell me what happened. I don't tell you what happened.
TAPPER: Well, let me ask you...
GIULIANI: So, Michael Cohen was telling people what happened.
See, Donald Trump didn't allow his former attorney to lie to Congress. He just couldn't remember all the details, and so he took Cohen's word for it. As one does when one is facing the biggest criminal investigation in history. And it's not witness tampering if Cohen and Trump coordinate their testimony, it's a joint defense agreement!
TAPPER: You see, but you just acknowledged -- but you just acknowledged that it's possible that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony.
GIULIANI: Which would be perfectly normal, which the president believed was true.
TAPPER: So it's possible that that happened, that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony?
GIULIANI: I don't know if it happened or didn't happen. And it might be attorney-client-privileged if it happened, where I can't acknowledge it. But I have no knowledge that he spoke to him. But I'm telling you, I wasn't there then.
GODDAMMIT, IT WOULD NOT BE NORMAL FOR ADVERSE PARTIES TO COORDINATE THEIR TESTIMONY.
So, just to be clear, Michael Cohen is going to jail for falsely testifying to Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow deal was over in 2015, and he coordinated his testimony in advance with the president, but Trump definitely never told Cohen to lie or thought that Cohen was lying. And if Rudy is wrong, it's because of Trump's stinky old lawyers at the time who couldn't law good like Rudy Giuliani. Got it?
Also as Rudy told Chuck Todd, there was absolutely NO COLLUSION, unless there was COLLUSION Trump didn't know about:
Well, I'll tell you. Because each time I said that back then and each time the president said it -- I shouldn't say "each time." Most of the times I said it back then, I qualified it with "to my knowledge," which is, of course, all I would know. So if I'm saying there's no collusion on the campaign, of course I don't know everyone on the campaign. To my knowledge, there's no collusion on the campaign. I probably didn't qualify it every time I said it. Then in the case of Chris, he asked me to qualify it. He asked me a question before that about, "Well, would you know?" and I made it clear that I wouldn't know everything that happened. I represent the president. I know his knowledge directly, talking to him. I'm in a strange position of having been intimately involved in a large part of the campaign. I know what I know from that. No Russian collusion. But how do I know if somebody -- I mean, like, when Papadopoulos came along, there was a big furor about how he might have been colluding with the Russians. Turned out that he wasn't. At the time that that came up, I wouldn't have known if he was or he wasn't. Now, I know he wasn't.
JFC, is he having a stroke, or are we? Gabe Sherman ain't kidding when he says this job is "taking its toll" on the old scammer.
Then it was on to a kibbitz with the New York Times, where Giuliani confirmed that Trump was actively negotiating with the Russians -- without ever talking to them of course! -- during most of 2016.
The new timetable means that Mr. Trump was seeking a deal at the time he was calling for an end to economic sanctions against Russia imposed by the Obama administration. He was seeking a deal when he gave interviews questioning the legitimacy of NATO, a favorite talking point of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. And he was seeking a deal when, in July 2016, he called on Russia to release hacked Democratic emails that Mr. Putin's government was rumored at the time to have stolen.
The Trump Tower Moscow discussions were "going on from the day I announced to the day I won," Mr. Giuliani quoted Mr. Trump as saying during an interview with The New York Times.
That time before when Trump was getting his story straight, ahem, reviewing Michael Cohen's testimony, he had absolutely no idea when the Russia talks ended and relied on Cohen's version of the story. But now he is absolutely sure they extended into the fall, okay? Also, BUZZFEED.
Why would Trump's team continue negotiating with the Russians when they'd been informed by the FBI in no uncertain terms that the Russians were trying to infiltrate his campaign? Unclear! It's also unclear why Don Jr., who was kept abreast of developments in the Moscow Tower project through 2016, testified to the Senate that the deal "died of deal fatigue" in late 2014 or early 2015. Was he also a poor, lost lamb led astray into false testimony by that semitic Svengali? Or is he casting about desperately for a defense because he feels the walls closing in on the whole, dirty Trump crime family?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.