President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that although the President himself never colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, campaign aides may have done so.
The former New York mayor made the comments during an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, saying that he doesn’t know if other people in the campaign, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, were working with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential race.
“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or people in the campaign,” Giuliani said. “I said the President of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the President of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspiring with the Russians to hack the DNC.”
The statement was quite contrary to what the President and his associates have been claiming for months, that there has been no collusion whatsoever between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
It was reported last week that the campaign’s former chairman Paul Manafort tried to share polling data from the Trump campaign with two Kremlin-supporting Ukrainian oligarchs through a Russian associate.
Asked about the matter, Giuliani quickly responded that the polling data was not shared by President Trump, who only found out about it from recent reports.
“Donald Trump wasn’t giving polling data to anyone, he did not know about it until it was revealed a few weeks ago in an article,” the attorney said.
Trump himself has denied collusion on multiple occasions so far, the latest one being last month, when he wrote on Twitter that “Democrats can’t find a Smocking (sic) Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution.”
During the interview, Giuliani also challenged special counsel Robert Mueller to provide evidence of wrongdoing by Trump.
“Let’s see if he’s got anything — I challenge him to show us some evidence that the president was involved in anything approaching criminal conduct,” he said. “If you want to do an ethics investigation fine, do an ethics investigation. But you don’t need a special prosecutor for that.”
Giuliani further denied reports that he had said the President’s lawyers should be allowed to review and edit the special counsel’s report before the public gets a chance to read it.