New President Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has, as POTUS promised, issued a statement walking back headline-grabbing remarks he made on Sean Hannity’s show this week. Giuliani surprised viewers, pundits and even Hannity when he said Trump had reimbursed personal attorney Michael Cohen for the $130K he’d paid to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the election. The money was offered in exchange for an NDA to keep Stormy quiet about claims she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago. Giuliani told a surprised Hannity that Trump repaid Cohen for the “funneled” cash and did not involve campaign funds so it was okay. Giuliani also said during the primetime interview that Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey because he would not publicly clear him in the Russia election tamper investigation.
Trump had assured reporters this morning Giuliani was going to issue a statement, saying the former New York City mayor was new to the job as his attorney and was still getting up to speed. Though Giuliani’s remarks to Hannity contradicted many things Trump has insisted, in particular with regard to Stormy Daniels, Giuliani had said he was speaking to Hannity with the blessing and understanding of Trump. POTUS insisted this morning his Stormy story has not changed.
“This is intended to clarify the views I expressed over the past few days. These are my views,” Giuliani began:
“First, there is no campaign violation. The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president’s family. It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”
“Second, my reference to timing were not describing my understanding of the president’s knowledge, but instead my understanding of these matters.”
“Third it is undisputed that the president’s dismissal of the former [FBI] director Comey, an inferior executive officer, was clearly within his Article 2 power. Recent revelations about former director Comey further confirm the wisdom of the president’s decision, which was plainly in the best interest of our nation.”