Donald Trump’s top as-seen-on-TV lawyer was back on Sunday shows again, as usual, to clean up the damage he did during the previous Sunday shows. His main charge this time around was to dismiss the now-disputed BuzzFeed story alleging that Donald Trump personally directed ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Nation, Giuliani did indeed deny the story. But he would not clarify whether Trump spoke to Cohen about Cohen’s planned testimony, saying he did not know if it happened but “it may be attorney-client privilege” if it did. And if he did, says Giuliani: “So what if he talked to him about it?”
On the key question of whether Donald Trump, his family, and his associates were still pursuing negotiations with Russian government officials to construct a “Trump Tower” in Moscow during the precise period of time Russian intelligence operatives had launched an aggressive effort to support Donald Trump’s presidential bid, and in fact even up to the actual election itself, Giuliani was considerably more forthcoming. Trump had long insisted that no such conversations took place; on Meet The Press, Rudy was perfectly willing to concede his client had been lying his behind off on this one.
[W]hen asked about the timeline of the Moscow deal conversations, Giuliani acknowledged they “went on throughout 2016.”
“There weren’t a lot of them, but there were conversations,” he said. “Can’t be sure the exact date. … Probably up to ― could be up to as far as October, November.”
The Trump family and campaign have both taken great pains to deny all substantive contacts with Russian officials during that government’s Trump-supporting espionage campaign against the United States, only to admit to numerous such contacts after reporters or investigators have revealed them.
The admission that Trump continued to pursue a Moscow deal even at the height of the campaign, alongside Russian efforts to boost Trump that even included, we now know, a Trump Tower meeting with his top campaign team in which the Russians offered up supposedly unsavory information about his opponent, may be another indication of how closely Trump and his family intertwined their campaign and business ambitions, and were willing to accept whatever assistance the Putin government was willing to give them on either.
What did Trump promise them in return? We don’t know, yet, but Russian requests seem to have focused on the loosening of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and a new U.S. acceptance of Russian military efforts in Ukraine, at the least—two requests that Trump and his team made conspicuous efforts to deliver on, once the election was over.