Rudy Giuliani admitted Monday that lying for President Donald Trump could be his legacy.
“I am afraid it will be on my gravestone. ‘Rudy Giuliani: He lied for Trump’,” he told the New Yorker in an interview in which the former mayor tried to walk back comments he made 24 hours earlier about Trump’s business dealings in Russia.
“But, if it is, so what do I care? I’ll be dead. I figure I can explain it to St. Peter. He will be on my side,” Giuliani said, adding, “I don’t think, as a lawyer, I ever said anything that’s untruthful.”
He said over the weekend that Trump had been involved in discussions to build a Trump Tower Moscow throughout the 2016 campaign — contradicting the president’s own claims throughout the campaign that he had no business dealings with Russia.
In the Times report, Giuliani quotes Trump as saying “discussions were going on from the day I announced to the day I won.”
He backpedaled on that Monday, claiming Trump never said that and the newspaper “deliberately misunderstood” what he said.
“The only thing that ever happened was that they submitted a letter of intent about a possible project in Moscow that never went beyond that. No money was ever paid, no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file. Nothing ever happened to it. Much ado about nothing, because the New York Times wants to crucify the President.”
Giuliani claimed that he was speaking hypothetically, as Trump’s lawyer, and said his own comments were not based on any conversations he had with Trump about the Trump Tower Moscow project.
Exposing what seems to be Giuliani’s latest strategy, he said four times that even if his client had those discussions, he would not have broken the law.
“If he had those conversations, they would not be criminal.”
“Even if there were such conversations, which there weren’t, they would be completely innocent.”
“If he had a project in Moscow, there would be nothing wrong with it, but he didn’t.”
“If we went to court, we would say we don’t have to prove whether it’s true or not true, because, even if it’s true, it’s not criminal.”
Giuliani also addressed the allegations made last week in a BuzzFeed story that alleged Trump pressured his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: “The reality is that the President never talked to him and told him to lie.”
He said he knew the BuzzFeed story was inaccurate the minute he read it “because I have been through all the tapes, I have been through all the texts, I have been through all the emails, and I knew none existed.”
When asked what tapes he was referring to, Giuliani responded: “I shouldn’t have said tapes.”
Asked if truth matters in a democracy, Giuliani said: “That’s an insane question.”
The New York Times reported Monday that people within Trump’s inner circle have “grown exasperated” with his public utterances and worry that he is “increasing prosecutors’ anger with the president and potentially creating a misimpression about the Trump Tower project in Moscow.”
Cover image: Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and current lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks to members of the media during a White House Sports and Fitness Day at the South Lawn of the White House May 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)