Giuliani vs. Chuck Todd: Truth Isn't Always Truth, Comey's 'Truth' Different From Trump's 'Truth'


President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tells Chuck Todd that he sees a credibility gap between President Trump and Special Counsel Mueller, during an appearance Sunday on 'Meet the Press.'

"I'm not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury," Giuliani said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And when you tell me he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth – that he shouldn’t worry – that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth."

"Truth is truth," anchor Chuck Todd immediately shot back.

"No, no, it isn’t truth," Giuliani said. "Truth isn’t truth."

"Mr. Mayor, the truth is the truth," Todd repeats. "This is going to be a bad meme."

"Don’t do this to me," Giuliani said. "Donald Trump says I didn’t talk about Flynn with Comey. Comey says you did talk about it. So tell me what the truth is."


TODD: I’m good. I think our audience is going to be a little confused. A White House counsel, a personal lawyer, former lawyer, it’s all of that so that’s why I’m trying to be careful here with titles.

Let me start with "The New York Times" story and Don McGahn. And let me ask it this way: the previous legal team was Ty Cobb and John Dowd, they wanted to fully cooperate. You and Emmett Flood have wanted to put more parameters around what special counsel Robert Mueller would have done.

Would you have ever recommended the amount of cooperation that Don McGahn has given to Robert Mueller had you been the attorney at the beginning?

GIULIANI: Well, you know, they represented him at a different stage in this investigation and actually, they did something very, very helpful. They allowed 32 witnesses to testify, they turned over 1.4 million documents, they didn’t raise executive privilege or in this case with Mr. McGahn, attorney-client privilege, so that the independent counsel, special counsel could get as much evidence as possible. And in fact, I think John Dowd would tell you, with an agreement by -- with Bob Mueller that it would be concluded quickly.

I guess if I had known the outcome, that Mueller would not conclude it quickly, that this really wasn’t an attempt in good faith to try to work out some resolution to this, I might have chosen a different strategy, I’m pretty sure they would have. But, be that as it may, it puts us in a very strong position to say we don’t -- they don’t need to question him. They have all the information. They --


TODD: Why is that -- how is that, actually, doesn’t this put you in a position of now it looks like you’re afraid of being questioned? I ask it this way: the special counsel has an eyewitness on whether or not the president obstructed justice, right? We don’t know whether he did or not, but he has a potential eyewitness that either is exculpatory or is problematic for you, but doesn’t that actually underscore the reason why --


TODD: -- the special counsel has to talk to the president?

GIULIANI: Absolutely not. First of all, we have a good sense, obviously, of what Mr. McGahn testified to -- I can figure it out from --

TODD: How -- wait -- how do you say that "good sense," had you debriefed him?

GIULIANI: No, no, but Mr. Dowd has a good sense of it. He talked to them at the time.

TODD: So, you don’t know what Mr. McGahn, you don’t know 100 percent of what he testified to Mr. Mueller?

GIULIANI: I think that through, through John Dowd, we have a pretty good sense of it and John Dowd yesterday said -- I’ll use his words rather than mine -- that McGahn was a strong witness for the president. So, I don’t need to know much more about that.

And also, they don’t need to know what the president’s going to say because the president has said it, and we’ve told them that we would stipulate that what the president has said is the president’s true belief that he did nothing wrong, that he wasn’t involved in collusion, that he wasn’t involved in obstruction and they have yet to propound a question to us, give us a question, where there is not an answer to it already by the president of the United States.

So, the only reason they could possibly want the president of the United States is because they’re desperate for some kind of charge they can hang their hat on. They don’t have collusion or conspiracy, as Brennan pointed out, and they don’t have --

TODD: How do you know that? You say this always so definitively, how do you know they don’t?

GIULIANI: I know they don’t because -- look, this whole McGahn thing leaked from them. If they had, if they had some kind of evidence that there was collusion or there was obstruction, don’t you think it’d have been leaked? I mean, they leak everything else.


TODD: What -- I mean, I mean, let’s talk with collusion, I mean, the Trump Tower meeting itself is at least evidence of you better investigate -- it’s --

GIULIANI: It’s not.

TODD: How is it not?

GIULIANI: Well, because the meeting was originally for the purpose of getting information about Clinton. The meeting turned into a meeting that --

TODD: Which in itself it’s attempted collusion. I understand --

GIULIANI: No, it’s not.

TODD: You just said it. The meeting was intended to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from a criminal lawyer.


GIULIANI: No, it wasn’t. No, no.

TODD: That was the intention of the meeting. You just said it.

GIULIANI: That was the original intention of the meeting. It turned out to be a meeting about another subject and it was not pursued at all.

And, 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. If it happens to be a person with a Russian --

TODD: From the Russian government?

GIULIANI: She didn’t represent the Russian government. She’s a private citizen. I don’t even know if they knew she was Russian at the time. All they had was her name.

TODD: They didn’t know she was Russian. I think they knew she was Russian, but OK.

GIULIANI: Well, they knew it when they met with her, not when they set up the meeting. You told me, you, you asked me, you know, did they show an intention to do anything with Russians? Well, all they knew is that a woman with a Russian name wanted to meet with them. They didn’t know she was a representative of the Russian government and indeed, she’s not a representative of the Russian government. So, this is much ado about nothing.

Plus, the president of the United States wasn’t at that meeting. He didn’t know about that meeting. He found out about it after and by the time he found out about it, it was nothing. So, I mean --


TODD: Let me ask you this, let me just go back to the core --

GIULIANI: So, I mean, if this is their case for collusion --

TODD: Yes. Yes.

GIULIANI: -- good luck, Mueller.

TODD: Let me go back to the core part of the investigation, which is do you believe that somebody stole emails from John Podesta and the DNC and leaked them to WikiLeaks? That factually happened, right? Do you believe that that happened, that crime happened?

GIULIANI: Well, I believe that somebody got them and they didn’t know that those emails were gotten and I’m almost certain from the reports that I’ve read that it’s hacking and it looks like it’s pretty clear that it was Russians.

TODD: So it’s important to you -

GIULIANI: Beyond that, beyond that --

TODD: But it’s important to Mr. Mueller get to the bottom of that, no?

GIULIANI: Of course, but he’s had months to get to the bottom of it. He’s got 1.4 million documents, he’s got at least 32 witnesses in which we didn’t raise executive privilege.

And in the case of Mr. McGahn --

TODD: Yes.

GIULIANI: -- we had even a better case. You could have had attorney-client privilege.

So, the president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did --

TODD: Yes.

GIULIANI: -- is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president. And John Dowd told you that when he said he was a strong witness for the president.

So, I believe this is a -- this is a desperate special counsel who leaked this to "The New York Times", illegally, I might add and, in fact --

TODD: Do you have any evidence of this? Do you have any evidence that he leaked this to "The New York Times"?

GIULIANI: The only other one that could’ve done it was McGahn. I mean, I didn’t leak it to "The Times" and Jay Sekulow didn’t leak it to "The Times". The president sure as heck didn’t, so who could it be?

It could be McGahn, and McGahn’s not doing it. And he would’ve done it a long time ago if he was going to do it.

They’re down to desperation time. They have to write a report and they don’t have a single bit of evidence. Even Brennan said an extraordinary --

TODD: But aren’t you, let me ask you this, Mr. Mayor, I want to play -- aren’t you and the president to blame for the delay in the Mueller report? Take a listen about your -- this is how you have answered the question about a Mueller interview. Take a listen, you’ll enjoy it, I promise.



GIULIANI: Never beyond two or three hours.

If there were written answers and they might -- most probably would be under oath.

The main focus that we want, I can tell you, simply is Russia.

They would probably limit it to collusion and obstruction.

He doesn't need to ask a single question on obstruction.

If we do that under oath, we end up in a sort of Martha Stewart situation.

Mueller has all the answers. We've given them.


TODD: Can’t you speed up Mueller’s report and can’t you have more credibility about beating up Mueller to get his report out if you get the president to sit down with him?

GIULIANI: Chuck, first off, get the word credibility out of it. I think we have plenty of credibility.

The last two letters to Cain, they took about 11 to 12 days to respond to our letter, sent us a response. That sets forth a negotiating position about an interview. We didn't reject it. We didn't say out of hand that we are not going to do it, and they put some pressure on us to come back quickly.

Well, we did. We came back in four days. It is not a week and a half later and they have not responded to our letter.

Now, don't tell me that we're delaying this if they are spending a week and a half getting back to us. I don't know why they are doing that, but they are sure as heck not showing any desire to expedite it. I can't get them to write a letter faster than they have. And you want to start counting up the time that we have taken...

TODD: So you believe this is on them? You believe this is on them that you would have -- that you guys have not delayed the interviewing, delayed the negotiations?

GIULIANI: Yes. Each time by three or four days so we could write a letter in response. They have taken two to three weeks to get back to us.

So, what I have to tell you is, look, I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury. And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he is going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, that's silly because it's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth. He didn't have a conversation...

TODD: Truth is truth. I don't mean to go like...

GIULIANI: No, it isn't truth. Truth isn't truth. The president of the United States says I didn't...

TODD: Truth isn't truth, Mr. Mayor, do you realize...

GIULIANI: No, no, no. Don't do this to me.

TODD: Don't do truth isn't truth to me.

GIULIANI: Donald Trump says I didn't talk about Flynn with Comey. Comey says you did talk about it. So tell me what the truth is?

TODD: Don McGahn might know.

GIULIANI: If you're such a genius -- Don McGahn doesn't know. If that's situation where you have two pieces of evidence. Trump says I didn't tell him and the other guy says that he did say it, which is the truth?

TODD: At that point, you're right. Under two people. No. You are right. I don't read minds on that front.

Let me ask you this final question...

GIULIANI: No, no, no, no, let me finish. We have a credibility gap between the two of them. You've got to select one or the other. Now, who do you think Mueller is going to select? One of his best friends Comey or the president who he has been carrying on a completely wild, crazy...

TODD: Is it possible he makes a conclusion based on who has been more truthful over the years?

GIULIANI: It's possible that he'll make the conclusion on which of the two statements is more logical, which of the two statements has more common sense. Yeah, it's possible he can do that.

But, no, you can't bring into question prior conduct. You are not even allowed to do that at a trial unless it's very extraordinary circumstances.

TODD: You said if Mueller doesn't get this done in two or three weeks, basically referring to September1, we will just unload on him like a ton of bricks. What does that mean?

GIULIANI: For interfering with the election when he had no reason to do that, because he could have gotten this done earlier. The person who delayed here...

TODD: But what are you going to do -- what is the ton of bricks? Is the president going to fire

GIULIANI: No, we are going to fire him, we're going to point out to the public how he has acted improperly and he is now violating a Justice Department rule about not carrying on an investigation...

TODD: That's not a rule.

GIULIANI: Within 60 days of an election...

TODD: It's about issuing indictments and things like that.

GIULIANI: No, it's about carrying on...

TODD: He can go dark.

GIULIANI: It is not, it's about carrying on a public investigation.

If he has to issue a subpoena during that period of time, it would be a gross interference in the election when he could have issued the subpoena six months or three months before.

TODD: I think we are both agreeing on that.

GIULIANI: I would like to comment about Brennan. Brennan made the extraordinary charge that the president was treasonous and then just said to you, and I commend you for your questioning, that he has no information that the president is guilty of conspiracy.

Well, I mean, that is just conjecture that this man accuses people of a crime that could carry death as the result. Totally...

TODD: It's a highly charged word.

GIULIANI: An unhinged character who shouldn't have a security clearance.

TODD: Mr. Mayor, I will leave it there. As always, sir, thanks for coming on, sharing your views, always interesting to talk with you. I thank you.

GIULIANI: Thank you, Chuck.

TODD: When we come back, the panel will be here and let's just say there is a lot to discuss. Truth versus truth. Stay with us.

Show comments Hide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives