President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in a new interview denied a BuzzFeed report that the president directed his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, claiming he had listened to taped conversations between Trump and Cohen discussing building a Trump Tower in Moscow — but almost in the same breath contradicted himself and said the tapes didn’t exist.
It was yet another interview in which Giuliani appears to make contradictory remarks relating to the special counsel’s Russia investigation that he has had to clarify or walk back.
Speaking to The New Yorker, Giuliani was asked for his opinion on the disputed BuzzFeed report.
“I guess the BuzzFeed story—I don’t remember what it said about Cohen—but it said there was corroboration that the president talked to Cohen and told him to lie about, I guess it was, the Moscow proposal,” Giuliani said. “There are no tapes, there are no texts, there is no corroboration that the president told him to lie.”
“I can tell you, from the moment I read the story, I knew the story was false. 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,” he added.
The New Yorker then asked, “Wait, what tapes have you gone through?”
Giuliani replied: “I shouldn’t have said tapes. They alleged there were texts and emails that corroborated that Cohen was saying the president told him to lie. There were no texts, there were no e-mails, and the president never told him to lie.”
Giuliani then clarified that there are no tapes before immediately adding, “Well, I have listened to tapes, but none of them concern this.”
Giuliani then expressed concern that being Trump’s lawyer will mean that his gravestone will one day read: “Rudy Giuliani: He lied for Trump.”
“Somehow, I don’t think that will be it. But, if it is, so what do I care? I’ll be dead,” he added.
His interview with The New Yorker was published the same day that Giuliani had to clarify other comments he has made regarding Trump and Cohen’s Moscow project plans.
During an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Giuliani stated that conversations between Trump and Cohen about the tower may have continued “up to as far as October, November,” or right up until the 2016 presidential election—a timeline that goes far beyond what Trump has publicly said.
In a follow-up statement Monday, Giuliani called his remarks to the New York Times “hypothetical and not based on any conversations I had with the president.”