Following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that there was “nothing wrong” with taking information from Russians, ample evidence of which was provided in the report.
Giuliani, who spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union”, told the host that “any candidate in the world would take information” despite Tapper’s objections that the U.S. was getting information from a “hostile foreign force.”
The lawyer’s comments came shortly after those by Senator Mitt Romney, who noted in a statement that he was appalled by the fact that members of Trump’s campaign accepted the help of Russia.
“I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement; and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine,” part of the senator’s statement read.
In his statement released Friday, Romney further pointed to the Trump Tower meeting in 2016, when Trump campaign officials including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians offering damaging information on then-candidate Hillary Clinton.
Giuliani responded to the statement, saying that Romney, too, was trying to “dig up dirt on people” when he ran against Barack Obama in 2012.
“Stop the bull. Stop this pious act that you weren’t trying to dig up dirt on people,” he said, adding “who says it’s even illegal.”
However, Giuliani noted that he himself would not have done it and would advise against getting information from foreign governments. Trump also attacked the senator for his statement, writing on Twitter that “If @MittRomney spent the same energy fighting Barack Obama as he does fighting Donald Trump, he could have won the race (maybe)!”
Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told Tapper that he hoped Giuliani would change his statement, stressing that taking information from foreign adversaries was a criminal offense.
“The idea that it is OK, separate and apart from it being a criminal offense, that we should be telling future candidates in the run-up to an election in 2020 that if an adversary, a foreign adversary, is offering information against a political opponent, that it’s okay and right and proper and American and patriotic, it seems he’s saying, to take that information and that’s okay — that’s an extraordinary statement and I would hope he would retract it,” Bharara noted.