According to the New York Times, Rudy Giuliani clarified his statements about the Moscow tower project, saying his comments were "hypotehtical" and not "based on conversations" he had with President Donald Trump.
On Sunday, Giuliani, the president's current lawyer, told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he was "100 percent certain" that Trump did not tell Cohen to lie to lawmakers about an effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
The former New York City mayor, who frequently speaks directly to the president, is Trump's outside counsel and works in a different orbit than White House officials, who are still left to play damage control after some of Giuliani's wilder interviews.
Cohen entered a guilty plea in November to a charge of lying to Congress about timing surrounding conversations about the Trump Tower Moscow project and admitted it was discussed through the fall of 2016 while the president was running for office.
"The President also remembers - yeah, probably up - could be up to as far as October, November. He replied, 'Absolutely. I am afraid it will be on my gravestone: Rudy Giuliani: he lied for Trump.' Rudy doesn't really care about his legacy, evidently, adding: you know things are going great when your lawyer is already prepping his argument to stay out of hell".
Trump has repeatedly condemned the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt" while denying any collusion with Moscow. It's a key question because Trump was pursuing the deal during the 2016 campaign while he was publicly calling for easing USA sanctions on Russian Federation and as Moscow was directing a large-scale operation aimed at swaying the election his way.
Moreover, Republicans close to the White House told AP they believe Giuliani may be appearing on TV after drinking alcohol, so he should be banned from evening appearances on news shows.More news: Albion boss unhappy with defending for Man United goals
"He didn't have the conversations", Giuliani said of Trump. By Sunday, Giuliani was saying the Trump-Cohen talks didn't happen, but even if they did it's "totally normal".
Lawyer George Conway was not having any of it, tweeting: "Translation: 'I just made s**t up'".
Discussions about a planned construction project were ultimately abandoned and no contract was signed.
"It was such a minor matter, he wouldn't have equated it", Giuliani said.
Giuliani argued on Monday, as he did a day prior to CNN, that Trump viewed the project as insignificant because it consisted at the time of only an unfunded letter of intent.
Schiff, using the qualifier "if true", then told the Times the implication that Trump directed someone to lie under oath "would constitute both the subornation of perjury as well as obstruction of justice". A former federal prosecutor, he has also been the team's public face and, even if not the primary author of letters and other documents to the Mueller team, he has nonetheless helped develop strategy.