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Giuliani sets terms for possible Trump interview

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader

April 26. 2018 7:32PM
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani meets with editors and reporters the New Hampshire Union Leader. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani meets with Kevin Landrigan, Grant Bosse and Trent Spiner of the New Hampshire Union Leader in Manchester on Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that President Trump would not likely agree to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller unless either questions were submitted to him in advance or an in-person version was limited to questions about collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Giuliani spelled out the parameters of what would be a Mueller interview he could recommend to Trump as the newest member of the President’s legal team during an interview at the Union Leader.

“The safest thing and the best thing would be they give us the questions, give us two days, three days and we give them the answers back. That’s what we would like,” Giuliani said.

“Could we live with .... 30 or 40 questions under oath in a limited context, with one person asking the questions, with us there so we could object if they go beyond what they need? We could live with that, if that got us a speedy conclusion of everything because that would accomplish a lot.”

Giuliani said he and the three other members of Trump’s legal team will meet in “two-to-three weeks” to make a recommendation on whether Trump should agree to an interview.

“If they were unwilling to commit to that it would be hard to see why he should go in and make a case that they have said isn’t made yet. That looks like the Martha Stewart trap, that we can’t him on collusion, we can’t get him on obstruction but we can get him on perjury,” Giuliani said.

“We will probably meet somewhere in the middle; I can’t tell you where that will be.”

The former federal prosecutor and two-time presidential candidate said he’s been giving Trump free legal advice about this investigation for a “long time” and recently agreed to this formal relationship after meeting Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

“I know this better than anybody else, criminal investigations, I’ve done thousands of them,” Giuliani said. “I know all the players, I think I have pretty good relationship with them so why not do it?”

Mueller has been given 1.2 million documents and none of them or any witness interviews have revealed Trump in any way colluded with Russians prior to the election, he said.

“I don’t see how they have anything on collusion,” Giuliani said adding only those who actually hacked Democratic emails are criminally liable, not those like WikiLeaks that widely disseminated them on the web.

“Legally fine, no different than me or you doing it. Ethically it would be bad but they didn’t do it,” Giuliani said of the Trump campaign getting and making use of the hacked emails.

“Whoever stole it, that’s the guilty parties; is that the Russian government? I’ve seen no evidence it is. Is it a Russian? Could be, likely that it is,” Giuliani said.

“But once he gets rid of it, it’s everybody’s property and we never got it because I was working on the campaign.”

Giuliani said he respected his predecessor on Trump’s legal team, John Dowd, but called him a “prima donna” for quitting once Trump would not rule out a Mueller interview.

“My job as a lawyer is to give the President the advice, try to persuade him to do it but if the President wants to go in a different direction, we’ll support it,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani, 73, who would not rule out a return to elective politics, said Trump would not face a serious challenge to re-nomination and belittled Ohio governor and 2016 runner-up candidate John Kasich who hasn’t ruled out his own 2020 bid against Trump.

“He couldn’t win a primary. Kasich I have lost so much respect for, what’s he doing trying to rip the party apart just for his own self interest? He’s not going to be elected,” Giuliani said.

While many GOP leaders concede their party could lose the U.S. House or Senate in the mid-term elections, Giuliani strongly disagreed.

“I am pretty sure we are going to hold the line and think we could pick up a bit in the Senate,” Giuliani said.

And Giuliani denied the Russian probe and other swirling controversies have Trump enraged and have affected him on the job.

“The President is remarkably unaffected by it; he just keeps his focus on the agenda,” Giuliani said.

As for Trump’s infamous rants on Twitter, Giuliani said that’s become a proven weapon for this President to go over the heads of critical and unfair treatment from the national media.

“I think the American people, I think really appreciate a President who is candid and I think they are really happy to have someone who doesn’t bow to political correctness, who isn’t dominated by political correctness,” Giuliani said.

“He sets the agenda much more than any other President in a long time, maybe since Reagan. Nobody talks about anybody’s position but his, whether negative or positive and that’s his personality. He dominates Washington. This is Trump’s time and he’s taking full effect of it.”

klandrigan@unionleader.com


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