WASHINGTON – In a stunning interview on CNN Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said there may have been “collusion” between members of the Trump campaign and Russia – but the president wasn’t involved.
“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign. Or between people in the campaign,” Giuliani told CNN host Chris Cuomo while live on air. “I have no idea.”
Cuomo challenged the claim from Giuliani, who has frequently argued there was no collusion with the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. Cuomo also argued that it isn’t just about Trump’s actions but whether he knew or allowed members of his campaign to work with a foreign country to disrupt American politics.
Giuliani said that he was sure the president never colluded with the Russians. He added that Trump has also never claimed that no one in his campaign was guilty of colluding with the Kremlin.
“He said he didn’t. He didn’t say nobody,” Giuliani said of Trump’s past remarks. “How would you know that nobody in your campaign [did]?”
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, added that if “the collusion happened, it happened a long time ago.”
Both of Giuliani’s claims were false. He and the president have both said there was no collusion between the campaign and Russia.
As recently as last month, the president posted on Twitter, saying there was no collusion. In August, Trump tweeted “Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX.”
Similarly, The Daily Beast posted a video of Giuliani on Fox News also saying there was no collusion between the campaign and Russia.
The president has long targeted the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He’s frequently attacked the probe, which includes an investigation into possible obstruction of justice by the president, as a “witch hunt.”
More: President Donald Trump denies knowing about Paul Manafort sharing polling data with Russian
More: Report: Trump Organization planned to give $50 million penthouse to Putin amid Moscow deal
More: Trump’s team had over 100 contacts with Russian-linked officials, according to think tank analysis
Mueller’s investigators have so far indicted more than 30 people, including four members of Trump’s campaign and his personal attorney Michael Cohen.
As Mueller’s team signals a possible end to the investigation, more details have been released to the public showing more links between Trump, his campaign and Russia.
Last week, it was revealed that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, shared polling data with a Russian before the 2016 election.
Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8 after a Virginia jury convicted Manafortof eight bank and tax fraud charges in August related to what prosecutors described as a multiyear scheme carried out while working as a consultant to a pro-Russia faction in Ukraine.
Giuliani said that sharing such polling data wouldn’t be “collusion.”
“Polling data is given to everybody,” he added.
More: FBI investigated President Trump for possible secret Russian favors, reports say