Presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani claimed in a telephone interview with The Hill that President Donald Trump's legal team should be given the opportunity to “correct” Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report before the American people or Congress see it.
“As a matter of fairness, they should show it to you — so we can correct it if they’re wrong,” Giuliani said. "They’re not God, after all. They could be wrong.”
Giuliani says it's a matter of executive privilege.
“Of course we have to see [the report] before it goes to Congress," he said. "We have reserved executive privilege and we have a right to assert it. The only way we can assert it is if we see what is in the report.”
Mueller's office did not comment on Giuliani's statements, but his suggestion, the farthest a member of Trump's legal team has gone in arguing that they have the right to review the special counsel's conclusions, is already being criticized across social media, with some saying that the former New York City mayor's words only bolster charges that the president obstructed justice.
Rudy Giuliani said that Trump's team should be able to "correct" Mueller's report before the American people see it… https://t.co/Lu2a1alAmo— Joe Walsh (@Joe Walsh) 1547225484.0
Dear @RudyGiuliani...congrats! With this statement you’ve officially become the total laughingstock of not just the… https://t.co/JcSxS0CL4W— Andy Ostroy (@Andy Ostroy) 1547231058.0
My brain just broke. https://t.co/ZRntOV3An5— John Iadarola (@John Iadarola) 1547226023.0
Giuliani says Trump's legal team should be allowed to "correct" Mueller's final report before Congress or the Ameri… https://t.co/FuQWO4u0ki— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@Duty To Warn 🔉) 1547231711.0
I should be allowed to correct my pay to $250,000 a year. I should be allowed to correct my job title to supermodel… https://t.co/FUxUpLETS8— Red (@Red) 1547217564.0
Giuliani had a flippant reaction when questioned about the decision of convicted former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to testify before Congress on February 7.
"Big deal!" he said. "I have no concerns about Cohen at all because I can prove with very little effort that he is a total, complete and absolute liar."
He had a similar reaction when asked about the news that former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort shared polling data with Konstantin V. Kilimnik, his business associate and intermediary with the Kremlin, a move which could shed deeper insights into both communications the Trump campaign had with Russian operatives and the work Manafort did for Russian oligarchs in Eastern Europe.
"Should he have done it? No. But there’s nothing criminal about it,” Giuliani said. He added: “There is no legal protection of polling data. You can give it to anyone. Campaigns leak polling data all the time."
Giuliani has trod similar ground before and has periodically made comments his detractors say are designed to impugn the credibility of Mueller's investigation.
Last month, Giuliani suggested Mueller should be investigated for destruction of evidence by allowing text messages from now-fired FBI official Peter Strzok and his lover, Lisa Page, to be erased in the Russia investigation.
“Mueller should be investigated for destruction of evidence for allowing those text messages from Strzok to be erased, messages that would show the state of mind and tactics of his lead anti-Trump FBI agent at the start of his probe,” Giuliani said during interviews with Hill.TV.
Giuliani’s comments came after the Justice Department said it found large gaps in the preservation of official government text messages between Strzok and Page. The inspector general dubbed it a “collection tool failure.” Strzok was removed from Mueller’s probe for sending text messages critical of the president. By the time his and Page’s phones were recovered, they’d been reset for others’ use, which the deputy attorney general told the inspector general is standard procedure.
“That should be investigated, damn it, that should be investigated fully. You want a special counsel, get one for that,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani further implied that the erasure was intentional, pointing to the erasure of a Watergate tape by Rose Mary Woods, a secretary to former President Richard Nixon.
“It’s actually worse than Rose Mary Woods,” he explained. “She erased less than 19 minutes of conversation, but the FBI got rid of more than 19,000 messages” between Strzok and Page.
Although Giuliani expressed hope that the Russia investigation would end soon, he criticized Mueller for investigating political consultant Roger Stone’s communications with Wikileaks about Hillary Clinton’s emails, saying that the investigation has moved further afield from its original mandate, “which was collusion which did not occur.”