Presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani changed Thursday morning news programs’ plans after he appeared on CNN the previous night to, once again, move the collusion goalpost. This time he insisted to Chris Cuomo that he never said there was no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign! I have no idea. I said president of the United States!” Giuliani shouted, wide-eyed.
“Rudy Giuliani just told America Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia,” Joe Scarborough said today in kicking off MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
CNN scored the interview of the week Wednesday night when Cuomo Prime Time nabbed Trump’s personal lawyer.
CNN Newsroom‘s Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto noted that Giuliani previously had denied collusion with “top four or five people” in the campaign. The network also ran clips of Trump claiming multiple times on camera that “there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”
Morning show pundits speculated Giuliani’s interview was an attempt to get out in front of the inevitable, in much the same way he had changed the Trump Team narrative about payments made to Stormy Daniels ahead of revelations that Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen allegedly paid her hush money and was reimbursed with campaign funds as election day drew near.
Giuliani’s appearance on Cuomo’s program was presumed by on-air pundits to be a cleanup for his client in wake of revelation Trump’s one-time campaign chair Paul Manafort funneled polling data to a Russian intel-linked pal.
Giuliani clarified his remarks Thursday morning, after morning shows feasted on it: “The President did not himself nor does he have any knowledge of collusion with Russians. If anyone was doing that, he is unaware of it and so am I,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “But neither he nor I can possibly know what everyone on the campaign was doing.”
As morning shows were wrapping, and after staying strangely silent, Trump weighed in on Twitter at the late hour of 9:04 AM, saying “The Left has become totally unhinged. They no longer care what is Right for our Countrty!” (sic):
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.