Giuliani “just started a day ago” and still is “working hard” to learn his subject, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding his helicopter, and later while boarding Air Force One on his way to an NRA confab in Texas.
Giuliani had said his remarks on Fox News Channel’s Hannity had been made with the express approval of Trump. Among his headlines to Hannity: Trump paid back the $130K NDA payment his attorney Michael Cohen paid to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about claims of an affair wit Trump, but that the money did not come from campaign funds.
About a month earlier, Trump took questions on Air Force One, saying he had no idea a payment had been made by Cohen, no idea where the money came from. Trump previously insisted he never had any relationship with Stormy.
“We’re not changing any stories,” Trump said today, but he did not reconcile the two positions. “This country is, right now, running so smooth and to be bringing up that kind of crap, and witch hunts – that’s all you want to talk about,” Trump scolded the gaggle of press.
Giuliani was not “totally familiar” with the situation and “will get his facts straight,” Trump told a gaggle, undercutting the strategy Giuliani indicated he and Trump had worked out to get out in front of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, via Friend-of-Trump Hannity’s Fox News show.
Trump insisted he would love to sit down with Mueller, which he boasted was against the advice of his lawyers, and that he would overrule his legal team if he could get assurances his meeting with Mueller and team would be fair.
“I want to talk to the people in charge, if they can prove it’s a fair situation,” he said. “The problem is you have 13 people, all Democrats, and they’re angry Democrats and that’s not a fair situation.” Trump noted Mueller had worked at the FBI during Barack Obama’s campaign, but forgot to mention he’d been appointed by President George W. Bush and is a registered Republican.
Trump continued to spew headlines as he winged his way to Dallas, telling the reporters he and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly “have a great relationship. He’s doing a great job as chief of staff. I could not be more happy,” and he blasted The New York Times for having “falsely reported” otherwise.
He then asked Kelly, who was accompanying him on the flight, to say a few words. Kelly obliged: “I would just say it’s an absolute privilege to work for a president that has gotten the economy going, we’re about to have a breakthrough…on North Korea, the jobs report today – everything is going phenomenally well. We’re attacking the opioid crisis. It’s nothing less than brilliant what’s been accomplished in 15 months.”
Trump insisted they were “doing very well with the hostages” in North Korea, teasing ,”I think you’re going to see good things, as I said yesterday – stay tuned.” Meanwhile, a time and place for his meeting with that country’s ruler Kim Jong-un have been worked out and will be announced shortly, POTUS claimed.