Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lead attorney in the ongoing Russia probe, said Sunday that he will not allow special counsel Robert Mueller to rush Trump into an interview because investigators could try to catch the president in a lie based on their version of the facts.
“I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury,” Giuliani said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Giuliani’s exchange with host Chuck Todd produced an odd back-and-forth on the meaning of truth in the context of the Russia investigation.
“When you tell me that [Trump] should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, that’s so silly – because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth,” Giuliani said.
Todd responded, “Truth is truth.”
“No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth,” Giuliani said.
The former New York City mayor has previously questioned the objectivity of the investigators in the Russia probe.
The “truth is relative,” he told The Washington Post in May.
Investigators “may have a different version of the truth than we do,” he said.
The two sides have been negotiating the terms for a possible interview with Trump, with the president’s legal team seeking to take certain topics, such as possible obstruction of justice, off the table. Giuliani recently told the Wall Street Journal that Trump would not sit for an interview after Sept. 1 because it might interfere with the midterm elections in November.
On Sunday, Giuliani said that while a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Trump campaign officials and Russians was “originally for the purpose of getting information” about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, it was not an attempt at collusion.
“It turned out to be a meeting about another subject, and it was not pursued at all,” he said. “Of course, any meeting with regard to getting information on your opponent is something any candidate’s staff would take. If someone said, I have information about your opponent, you would take that meeting.”
Giuliani, speaking on Fox News, repeated his concern about investigators’ potential approach to a Trump interview.
“We get very nervous that they’re trying to trap him into perjury, which is not supposed to be what they’re doing,” he said.
“Meanwhile, they’re fumbling around with this collusion thing. It is a laugher. There was no collusion and no conspiracy with the Russians involving Donald Trump,” he said.