President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani indicated during an interview on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that Trump did ask former FBI Director James Comey to drop the probe into ex-White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.
At one point in the interview, host George Stephanopoulos told Giuliani that Comey said he took Trump’s remark as direction, at which the lawyer responded that he was also told, “Can you give the man a break?” many times as a prosecutor.
Giuliani added that the President never directed Comey to drop the probe but rather asked him to give Flynn a break. However, Stephanopoulos again responded that Comey took such remarks as an order.
“Well, that’s okay. He could have taken it that way, but by that time he had been fired,” Giuliani stressed. “He said a lot of other things, some of which has turned out to be untrue. The reality is, as a prosecutor, I was told that many times, ‘can you give the man a break,’ either by his lawyers, by his relatives, by his friends. You take that into consideration. But you know that doesn’t determine not going forward with it.”
Giuliani’s comments were aimed at dismissing Comey as a credible witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Comey testified to senators in June 2017 that the President told him during an Oval Office meeting the previous February that he hoped Comey could “see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Trump has repeatedly denied discussing Flynn with Comey. However, Giuliani’s latest comments make clear that this is not the case and that the President did, in fact, ask Comey to let go of the investigation into his former national security adviser.
Flynn resigned in February 2017 after it became public that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence over whether he discussed U.S. sanctions with Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S. before the inauguration.