President Trump's personal attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani responds to the tape Michael Cohen and his attorney Lanny Davis released on CNN. Giuliani said the meaning of the conversation between then-candidate Donald Trump and his then-attorney Michael Cohen is "crystal clear" in an interview with FOX News' Laura Ingraham.
The two also discussed the odd choice of an attorney for Cohen as Lanny Davis is best known as a close associate to the Clintons.
"I agree with you the tape is a little bit hard to hear," Giuliani told Ingraham. "But I assure you that we listened to it numerous, numerous times. And the transcript makes it quite clear the end that President Trump says "don't pay with cash." Cohen then interrupts and says, no, no, no. I’ve got it. And then you are distinctly come if you slow it down, check. I then Cohen followed with no, no, no. And then quickly cuts off the tape which indicates exactly Professor Dershowitz is saying, that Cohen doesn't want the rest of the recording because it was too exculpatory from the point of view of the president."
Giuliani said that Cohen has no credibility and should be disbarred for the recordings. He also called Cohen "a pariah to the legal profession."
"I question the strategy of doing it, of trying to make the tape say what it doesn’t say, or putting out a tape in which you’re kind of proud of the fact that you’re a lawyer taping your client and then thinking you could cooperate with the government?" Giuliani said of Cohen's character.
"In order to cooperate with the government, you got to have credibility. The first thing that happens is this guy is going to be disbarred. I mean, it’s ridiculous. He’s a pariah to the legal profession," he added.
Giuliani also spoke about other tapes with Trump and Cohen. He said "we have all of the tapes in our possession."
Giuliani on Tuesday's edition of FNC's Ingraham Angle:
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: OK, I want you to stay right there because joining us now on the phone is Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney for President Trump, speaking with us exclusively after the release of this recording.
Mayor Giuliani, thank you so much for checking in with us tonight.
First of all, your reaction to this tape’s release.
RUDY GIULIANI, PERSONAL ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (via telephone): Well, first of all the major point is it's outrageous that someone would tape this client surreptitiously. And number two, it's also foolhardy for them to try to yell and scream and make believe what’s on the tape.
I agree with you the tape is a little bit hard to hear. But I assure you that we listened to it numerous, numerous times. And the transcript makes it quite clear the end that President Trump says "don't pay with cash." Cohen then interrupts and says, no, no, no. I’ve got it. And then you are distinctly come if you slow it down, check. I then Cohen followed with no, no, no. And then quickly cuts off the tape which indicates exactly Professor Dershowitz is saying, that Cohen doesn't want the rest of the recording because it was too exculpatory from the point of view of the president.
INGRAHAM: Rudy --
GIULIANI: Also --
INGRAHAM: Go ahead.
GIULIANI: There's no way the president is going to be talking about setting up a corporation and then using cash unless you are complete idiot. Again, the president is not an idiot.
INGRAHAM: Rudy, there was a moment tonight on CNN where Lanny Davis, he kept saying, well, we are going -- we are showing you that what Giuliani claimed that Michael Cohen was the one who brought up the issue of cash, not his client Donald Trump. We’re showing you with this tape that it was Trump who brought it out. He seemed to say the release of the tape, Rudy, was because of you and what you said.
GIULIANI: Well, the fact is that the president does bring up cash, but he says don't pay with cash. And then Cohen says, no, no, no, and the president says check. And then Cohen says I’ve got it. The point is the president wants the transaction to be memorialized.
INGRAHAM: Rudy, there was some concern about the decision to waive privilege in this case, a lot of legal commentators. We just talked to Dershowitz.
GIULIANI: That’s all well and good -- it's all well and good for them to say that, but the reality is, that the tape was leaked not by us. Nobody believes that. Last week, we were treated to how we leaked it, which Jay and I were laughing about, Jay Sekulow.
This was leaked on us with a very, very scurrilous description of what was on the tape probably by the same people who were lying on CNN. And we had to -- we had to correct the record. But we have no problem making this limited release because it is -- it is corroborative of the president's statement.
INGRAHAM: Now, are you still maintaining then tonight that the recording that was released this evening is 100 percent exculpatory towards the president and his previous statements about this?
GIULIANI: I think your two guests just said that. There’s no indication of any crime being committed on this tape and that's absolutely right.
INGRAHAM: Go ahead --
GIULIANI: Go ahead.
INGRAHAM: No, you know what the left is going to say? They've been doing it for months. That the president gave the impression that he didn't know about any of these transactions, that this was -- this might've been happening but he didn't know about them, the comment on Air Force One. It’s all referenced in the previous statement. He said I didn't know. But it sounds like he knew something was being set up to perhaps buy the rights to this McDougal story, correct?
GIULIANI: No. In fact, if you go back a little further on the transcript -- I don’t have the whole thing -- Cohen says that we need financing. The president is saying wait a second. What financing? Then he has to explain it. The president did not know about this before this conversation, at least with regard to the transaction that we’re talking about.
I mean, he may or may not have known about McDougal's claims. I don’t know that. But he didn't know about this transaction.
This is the conversation on which they talk about how they're going to buy their rights.
INGRAHAM: And the rights people have to understand who are watching tonight, the rights to this story from the "National Enquirer," the company that owns the "National Enquirer", were never purchased. So, that transaction did not go through.
GIULIANI: That's another thing that's absurd about this. What it makes clearly is this is at most an attempt to do something. I don't know of any attempt to this category of crime that they are looking at. So, at any event, I don't think anyone can suggest that this represents anything where the president did anything wrong. And that's the reason why we waved it.
Would we have put it out had it not been leaked? No, we would not have put it out had it not been leaked. But it was being leaked to "The New York Times" under very, very false -- with false statements being made about, which even (INAUDIBLE) to the ones you’re hearing now.
INGRAHAM: Were you given -- were you given a heads-up, Rudy, that this was coming out tonight at all or was this a surprise?
GIULIANI: Yes, we found out at 6:00 this afternoon. And, look, we have been over the tape over the weekend about five times. What I urge people to do is just go online, listen to your broadcast. You play the tape, play it three times. The third time you play it, it will become clear.
I got tapes even longer than Alan Dershowitz, how about 4,000 hours of mafia people on tapes? I know how to listen to them, I know how to transcribe them. This tape is clear crystal clear when you listen to it. I dealt with much worse tapes than this.
INGRAHAM: Are you concerned there are other recordings out there between Cohen and the president? As a lawyer, as someone who has dealt with people who have been in a lot of trouble before, just like you have, Rudy, the idea of a lawyer taping a client is -- it takes your breath away. But, you know, are there other tapes you are aware of? Will you seek to release them yourself?
GIULIANI: Today, today, someone was leaking from -- I’m sure their side, it can't be ours. There are 12 tapes with Cohen with the president, may have been Avenatti, somebody else. Don’t quote me on that.
He has leaked things like they are a lot more tapes with the president. And Dershowitz yesterday asked him how, because it would be illegal for them to have that information and unethical.
But in any event, there are no other tapes with the president. We have all of the tapes in our possession. We have transcripts of all them. We are comfortable with them. And there are no -- there are no others.
INGRAHAM: Now, Rudy, you have known Lanny Davis a long time. And, look, I’ve known him going back 20 years during the Clinton saga. Do you -- do you have any thoughts about his decision to represent Michael Cohen, given his long ties to the Clintons?
GIULIANI: No, not at all. I don't have any concerns about that. He is a lawyer. He has a right to represent who he wants and Michael has a right. I question the strategy of doing it, of trying to make the tape say what it doesn’t say, or putting out a tape in which you’re kind of proud of the fact that you’re a lawyer taping your client and then thinking you could cooperate with the government?
In order to cooperate with the government, you got to have credibility. The first thing that happens is this guy is going to be disbarred. I mean, it’s ridiculous. He’s a pariah to the legal profession.
INGRAHAM: There was a moment tonight on CNN, I’m going to play it for you, Rudy, where Chris Cuomo actually asked about this recording and whether it might taint the entire substance of it. Let’s watch. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: This recording could be argued to be fruit of the poisonous tree. As counsel, Michael Cohen shouldn't have been recording his counsel -- his client, then Donald J. Trump, now President Trump. How do you get past that this whole thing can’t look good for Cohen because he should have never done it?
LANNY DAVIS, MICHAEL COHEN’S ATTORNEY: Well, I’m not going to shift the topic. It’s up to Mr. Cohen to explain why he was taping.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: So, he didn’t want to -- he didn't want to go into it.
GIULIANI: This is great. When have I ever said it's up to the president to explain? That's his lawyer being interviewed by Cuomo, and he throws the ball to his clients? I mean, this is crazy representation. Have you ever heard of anything like this?
You put out a tape of your client. You then make believe it says something it doesn't say. Believe me, there were three other versions of this before he got to this one that were even worse. And the transcript belies if you analyze it, have the patience to analyze it, don’t become like frenetic about it, and now, he is saying, you know, give the ball -- give the ball to my client.
INGRAHAM: So, you -- I don't mean to harp on the Clinton, you know, connection here, but it is interesting that Cohen chooses the longtime confidant, booster, defender of the Clintons. After everything that happened during the campaign, to represent him.
I mean, was he -- I mean, you know how this deal goes, Rudy. Was he -- was Cohen trying to send some kind of message to the president? Look out, here we come and you better watch out?
GIULIANI: Well, if he --
INGRAHAM: I mean, it's an odd choice of lawyer in my view. It's an odd choice.
GIULIANI: Well, I don't know. I can't comment on that, Laura. I don’t know any -- you know, someone interfering with right to counsel if I do that. I don't want to do that. And I just question the whole tactic and Lanny’s comments tonight, shifting the thing to Cohen, sort of throwing under the bus.
INGRAHAM: And, Rudy, finally here --
GIULIANI: You’ve got to be able to answer -- you’ve got to be able to answer for your client or not answer at all.
INGRAHAM: And, finally, Rudy, on the issue of talking to Mueller, special counsel here, reports came out that you all will talk about collusion and nothing else. Are there any developments on that you can tell us?
GIULIANI: No, I think we’ve been distracted the last couple of days. And they have been distracted with the -- they are getting ready for the Manafort case. So, I -- we'll probably get an answer in the next -- hopefully in the next couple days or a week.
INGRAHAM: All right. Rudy Giuliani, we really appreciate for joining us tonight exclusively.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
INGRAHAM: Thank you so much.