(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump won’t be sitting down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to answer more questions in his investigation into election interference, Rudy Giuliani, the president’s attorney, vowed on Sunday.
“Over my dead body,” Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Giuliani, who’d at times floated the possibility of a meeting in interviews over several months, didn’t answer directly when asked about a CNN report on Dec. 14 that Mueller wants to interview Trump in his investigation of Russia influence in the 2016 campaign.
In a separate interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Giuliani was less definitive when asked whether it’s possible Trump will talk to Mueller. He cited an agreement with prosecutors allowing for a discussion about it after the president submitted written responses to questions last month.
“All I can tell you is the agreement contemplates our having discussions if there are any further follow-ups or questions, and there’s been no change in that agreement,” Giuliani said. “And when it’s concluded, we’ll tell you.”
While Trump submitted written answers to some questions, his legal team rebuffed Mueller on queries about whether the president sought to obstruct justice. The lawyers said the answers only cover events before Trump became president and Russian-related topics.
Sunday’s appearances on were Giuliani’s first since one Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced on Dec. 12 to three years in prison for crimes that included hush-money payments to women who said they had affairs with Trump. Cohen has repeatedly said Trump directed the payments, which the president has denied.
The payments weren’t a campaign contribution and therefore not illegal, Giuliani said on ABC. He also called Cohen “a serial liar” with no evidence to back up what he’s saying. In an interview with ABC that aired Dec. 14, Cohen said “there’s a substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that I’m telling the truth.”
In a Sunday tweet, Trump said Sunday that “Cohen only became a ‘Rat’” after the FBI “BROKE INTO” the lawyer’s office. In fact, federal officials had a warrant in that case.
“That’s the language of a mobster, not of the president,” Lanny Davis, who has represented Cohen, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked about the tweet. It was a legal search and Cohen consented, Davis said. He also said that Cohen “feared for his country and his family.”
Cohen has admitted lying to Congress and Mueller’s investigators about the timing of a proposed Trump tower in Moscow and Trump’s involvement in the project, and no one from the White House told him beforehand not to lie — even though they had his published testimony, Davis said.
On Fox, Giuliani appeared to joke that Mueller was interested in probing “several unpaid parking tickets back in 1986” — an apparent reference to his contention that Mueller’s investigation and the probe into Cohen have gone far beyond the original intent.
“The only thing left are the parking tickets and jaywalking,” Giuliani said on ABC when asked whether Mueller is almost done with his investigation.
Reflecting on the Cohen conviction and other pending matters, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “clearly, this was not a good week for President Trump.”
Given the array of “unanswered ethical, legal and factual questions,” it’s critical that Mueller “be allowed to complete his investigation unimpeded, so that we can have the full picture,” she said.
(Updates with comment from Cohen’s attorney in 10th paragraph.)
To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Christopher Flavelle in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark Niquette, Ros Krasny
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.