Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, says that the basis of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe is now illegitimate and reveals that Mueller's team has agreed to limit the scope of a proposed interview with the president.
"Now we have this 'Spygate' thing on top of all the other evidence," Giuliani said.
"I'm not saying Mueller is illegitimate, I'm saying the basis on which he was appointed was illegitimate," he also said.
BASH: To be clear, James Clapper said that he didn't know anything about it. And he was using the spy -- the word spy because it's what the president said, and he actually, as part of that, said that he doesn't like that term.
But I guess here is my big-picture question. You are somebody...
BASH: ... who made your name as U.S. attorney in New York. You had a reputation for prosecuting crime as mayor, upholding the rule of law.
If somebody connected to one of your investigations asked you for information about a confidential source, you wouldn't stand for it.
GIULIANI: Of course. I wouldn't give them the name.
If I -- if I thought that that information would help induce a guilty plea or cooperation, I would lay out for the lawyers or let them see the evidence.
Very, very often, prosecutors lay out the evidence pre-indictment in order to end the case. They say, look at this, listen to the tape recording, listen to the information.
Hey, every once in a while, they will give up a confidential source if the person is being protected. So, the name here has already been put out there. You and I don't know if it is true.
But if it is true, and it's dangerous to this man, he better be protected already. I don't believe he's being protected. Says to me that maybe the FBI and Justice Department is being a little hypocritical here?
BASH: Why is that?
GIULIANI: Well, they said, he can't be revealed because it is dangerous.
Now he's been revealed, "Wall Street Journal," several other newspapers. If that man is the man, he better be protected. I'm not sure, but I hear he is not. So, what is going on?
BASH: Mr. Mayor, I want to just ask point blank, will the president sit down with Robert Mueller, even if the White House legal team or you, anybody on his legal team, doesn't get a briefing about this confidential source?
GIULIANI: Well, if he wasn't thinking about it and it wasn't an active possibility, we would be finished with that by now and we would have moved on to getting the investigation over with another way.
But he -- he is adamant in wanting to do it.
BASH: He, the president?
GIULIANI: We are -- we -- the president.
But we are more convinced, as we see it, that this is a rigged investigation. Now we have this whole new spy gate thing thrown on top of it, on top of already very legitimate questions.
BASH: How is there evidence that it is rigged?
I just want to go through it, because I know you use this term a lot, and, obviously, so does the president.
This investigation has already brought charges against 22 people and entities, including 13 Russians who have been indicted for trying to change the outcome of the election.
So, how is it a rigged investigation, when they already -- when they are not even close to being done, and they already have this in their pocket?
GIULIANI: Well, because, first of all, there are two different investigations, right? The counterintelligence investigation is now over for over a year.
And they weren't disclosing it to anybody. Immediately, that raises questions in my mind, why not? I think why not because it clears the president.
Then you get the Comey thing, which is a leak of a confidential memo, which is illegal for an FBI official to do, and that becomes the basis for appointing Mueller.
I'm not saying Mueller is illegitimate. I'm saying the basis on which he was appointed is illegitimate. Now let's look at the indictments.
BASH: But you think -- I just want to separate -- so you think that the Mueller probe is legitimate?
GIULIANI: I -- not anymore. I don't.
I did when I came in. But now I see -- I see spy gate. I see the judge, Judge Ellis, in Manafort saying...
BASH: But -- but what you call spy gate, you admit, happened before Robert Mueller was -- was brought on to the scene.
GIULIANI: But it has to -- but it has to inform the decision to appoint Mueller. Either it is evidence or not.
And if it's not, it goes along with what they found already, which is no collusion with the Russians.
BASH: It might have informed it, but it wasn't the beginning...
GIULIANI: So, we end up with...
BASH: I just want to point one other thing out, because I know that you and the president have talked about that as well, that even the Republicans in the House, when they did their report, they said that the reason that this -- the main reason that this probe was launched was because of George Papadopoulos, who was on the president's foreign policy council, an -- an encounter he had with somebody in Australia, not because of this confidential informant.
This is from the Republicans in the House.
GIULIANI: I think -- I think, actually, the explanation for -- for -- for Mueller is mainly Comey.
Comey said he wanted an independent counsel. Comey said he was going to orchestrate one. Comey wrote a memo and leaked it illegally through a professor.
Hence, we have Mueller. Illegal. No basis.
Now, whatever the spy gate thing is, we are just learning about that now. I wouldn't come to any definitive conclusions on that. And Papadopoulos was part of that whole spy gate thing as well, so it kind of gets all intertwined.
But the two indictments that you point are really pretty questionable. Manafort, before Judge Ellis, maybe no authority for that indictment. That would be extraordinary. That would ruin the whole investigation.
Second, the Russians.
GIULIANI: That's a pretty phony indictment. They are not showing up for anything.
You think they are coming here to be -- to be tried? That is like a paper indictment on which the press can fawn all over it, and it will be nowhere.
BASH: How are you so sure that there was no collusion with anybody in the campaign? We don't know exactly what Robert Mueller and his team has right now. Do you know something we don't?
GIULIANI: Well, yes. I know 50 years of investigatory experience tells me they don't have a darn thing, because they would have used it already, and they wouldn't be off on collusion, they wouldn't be off on Manafort, they wouldn't be off on Cohen.
You got a good case, man, you go right to it, against -- and against the president of the United States, you got something, and you don't start charging it? Come on. It would be out there immediately.
BASH: Well, maybe not necessarily against the president himself, but people in his orbit.
You are confident that there was no collusion?
GIULIANI: I -- I can't -- I can't be confident my client.
I mean, am I -- am I confident because I was in that campaign at a very intimate level? Nobody talked about Russians. Nobody knew about Russians. This came as a surprise to me, to the president, and to the top four or five people around him.
Now, you go out to the outer orbit, how do I know what is going on? But I don't think that would matter. You can't -- if there is collusion with a guy 50 rungs down on the campaign -- not that I'm saying it happened, but, if it did, I don't know -- I don't know what that means.
BASH: Mr. Mayor, I want you to take a look at... Go ahead. I'm sorry.
GIULIANI: No, go ahead. No, no, I got -- I made the point. Thank you.