The Slatest

Giuliani Says Mueller Probe Is “Rigged,” No Longer Legitimate

Rudy Giuliani attends the Conference on Iran on May 5, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Rudy Giuliani attends the Conference on Iran on May 5, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani had a wide-ranging interview with CNN on Sunday in which the man who is now President Donald Trump’s lead defense attorney talked about a lot of issues surrounding Robert Mueller’s investigation. The special counsel’s work, Giuliani said, amounts to a “rigged investigation.” When CNN’s Dana Bash outright asked Giuliani whether he thinks the Mueller investigation is legitimate, Giuliani said no. “Not anymore, I don’t,” Giuliani said. “I did when I came in. But now I see—I see spy gate.”

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When he was asked about whether the Trump team wasn’t criticizing the Mueller investigation as a way to undermine the probe in the minds of the American people, Giuliani pretty much acknowledged as much but said they could only do it because there was something to question. “I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have the material. They are giving us the material to do it,” Giuliani said. “Of course, we have to do it in defending the president. We are defending—to a large extent, remember, Dana, we are defending here, it is for public opinion.” Giuliani said that ultimately members of Congress will have to decide what to do with the results of the investigation and they “are going to be informed a lot by their constituents.” That means “our jury is the American—as it should be—is the American people.”

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Giuliani said that while Trump is “adamant” about wanting to sit down with Mueller for an interview, others in his circle are more concerned. If the interview does go through though, Mueller and his staff would only be able to address two main issues: collusion and obstruction of justice. Although Giuliani said he’s comfortable with the president answering questions about collusion, the obstruction issue is a bit trickier. “I am not comfortable, because it is a matter of interpretation, not just hard and fast, true, not true,” Giuliani said. Still, the former mayor highlighted that “the president is fine with it. He is innocent.”

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In another portion of the interview, Giuliani referred to veteran intelligence officials James Clapper, who is the former director of national intelligence and John Brennan, who is former CIA chief, as “two clowns.” When asked how he could so readily dismiss two people with such a long history of public service, Giuliani brushed away that concern. “There are a lot of people with decades of service. Some are good, some bad. And some then get consumed with power, and some begin to lie,” he said. “And, in the case of Brennan, he is a political guy. He was Obama’s chief defender. I’m not sure about Clapper.” When Clapper was asked about the characterization, he said it seemed like he got a bit of an upgrade from earlier insults. “In the space of a week, I have progressed from being the dumbest foreign intelligence officer on the planet, according to President Trump, and now a clown,” he said. “So, it’s career progression, I guess, at its best.”

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