Update: And now Trump suggesting Giuliani got his Cohen story wrong, too. “Rudy is a great guy, but he just started a day ago,” Trump said. “He’s working hard, learning the subject matter.” Trump added: “He’ll get his facts straight. … It’s actually very simple. There has been a lot of misinformation, really.”
I disagree with the prevailing wisdom that #Rudy Giuliani committed one giant blunder Wednesday night. When Giuliani disclosed that President Trump had reimbursed Michael Cohen for the #Stormy Daniels payment, it contradicted what had been said before, yes. But legally speaking, it made some sense, especially regarding claiming attorney-client privilege and getting ahead of what might come out of the Cohen case. Time will tell.
But other parts of the Giuliani interview were clearly blunders which Giuliani is now cleaning up. And if Trump is about to dispatch Giuliani regularly to speak for him, buckle up. Because Giuliani is a uniquely Trumpian blend of confidence and lack of discipline.
In an interview with BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner on Thursday, Giuliani sought to walk back two of his more curious claims from Wednesday: That Trump fired James B. Comey because Comey refused to say Trump’s wasn’t under investigation, and that Trump had secured the releases of three hostages from North Korea.
Neither, Giuliani now says, was actually based upon his own knowledge of how things went down. He was just passing along things he had heard or suspected, without taking care to verify them.
The apparent Comey admission might have been the most legally problematic that Giuliani made. Much like Trump’s Lester Holt interview, it suggested Trump had fired Comey to influence the course of the Russia investigation. “He fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn’t a target of the investigation,” Giuliani said. “He’s entitled to that.”
Now Giuliani says that’s not necessarily the case. “I think it was based more on my knowledge of what was going on during the campaign. I urged him to fire Comey on Day One. I mean, maybe I was thinking more of why I would fire him.”