President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, on Sunday defended his client’s decision to promote the infamous Wikileaks’ hacks and denied there was anything wrong with getting information from a foreign source.
The special counsel’s nearly two-year investigation into Mr. Trump campaign cleared the president of collusion charges, but did find links between some of his associates and Russian agents.
“There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” Mr. Giuliani said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It depends on where it came from.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Giuliani likened the hacked Democratic National Committee emails published by Wikileaks leading up to the 2016 election to the Pentagon Papers, the secret documents detailing America’s role in the Vietnam War.
Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, said Friday that he was “sickened” by the behavior described in the Mueller report.
“Clearly, stealing classified documents is theft. Now, there were overriding reasons for it, but it’s still theft. Legally, it’s the same thing. Morally, it’s the same thing,” he said.
Ultimately, he argued, the president never engaged in wrongdoing because he only pushed information that was already disseminated and reported on by other outlets like The Washington Post and the New York Times — and because the people had a right to know about that information on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“If it hurt her at all, it only hurt her because the American people got information that was gotten in the wrong way but it all was true,” Mr. Giuliani said. “People had a right to know that Hillary Clinton and the people around her were as dishonest, as deceptive, as duplicitous as they actually are.”
“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President,” Mr. Romney wrote. “I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement; and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine.”
Mr. Giuliani said it was hypocritical of Mr. Romney, who ran for president in 2012, because he also had to dig up dirt on his opponents to win.
The 448-page report includes Mr. Mueller’s investigation of possible obstruction of justice by the president. The prosecutor did not reach a conclusion on obstruction, but Attorney General William Barr has declared there was not sufficient evidence for that charge.
The report reveals that former White House Counsel Don McGhan, who left the administration in October, threatened to resign in June 2017 after the president asked him to fire Mr. Mueller.
Mr. Giuliani denied Mr. McGhan’s account and accused him of giving three different versions of that story to the special counsel, which ultimately ended with him explaining that he believed the president asked him to get rid of Mr. Mueller.
“I’m telling you he’s confused,” Mr. Giuliani said. “We don’t know which one McGahn is sticking by.”
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