President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani attempted to walk back his declaration that "truth isn't truth," claiming that his statements were not meant to be taken as a "pontification on moral theology."
My statement was not meant as a pontification on moral theology but one referring to the situation where two people… https://t.co/rHzVcO0QgK— Rudy Giuliani (@Rudy Giuliani) 1534765729.0
Giuliani, who has often served as a surrogate for the president to dispense thoughts on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, also disparaged former FBI director James Comey, referring to him as a "proven leaker" and calling his performance as FBI director "disgraceful."
Since proven leaker Comey is now sanctimoniously lecturing us on truth, I can say sometimes the truth is clear it’s… https://t.co/d2xD0NwQNX— Rudy Giuliani (@Rudy Giuliani) 1534765101.0
Comey responded soon afterward.
"If we are untethered to truth, our justice system cannot function and a society based on the rule of law dissolves," he wrote, in part.
Truth exists and truth matters. Truth has always been the touchstone of our country’s justice system and political… https://t.co/M5MTRgn3it— James Comey (@James Comey) 1534702471.0
Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, told NBC's Chuck Todd that President Trump would not be pressured into testifying as part of Mueller's probe.
“What I have to tell you is I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so he gets trapped into perjury,” he said. “When you tell me that he should testify because he is going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, that’s silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.”
When Todd pointed out that "truth is truth," Giuliani virulently disagreed.
“No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth," he told Todd. "Don’t do this to me! Donald Trump says ‘I didn’t talk about Flynn with Comey.’ Comey says ‘you did talk about it’––so tell me what the truth is? Which is the truth, maybe you know because you are a genius?”
Chuck Todd: "Truth is truth. I don't mean to go—" Rudy Giuliani: "No, it isn't truth! Truth isn't truth!" https://t.co/j8H1CIol5u— Axios (@Axios) 1534691372.0
Giuliani's statements have not gone over well on social media, and many found his attempts at clarification sorely lacking.
@RudyGiuliani And you know quite well that if one person says A and the other says B, and there's no evidence to su… https://t.co/40KTa3i5w6— Steph Bazzle (@Steph Bazzle) 1534772893.0
@RudyGiuliani You're trying to influence public opinion by demeaning Mueller and his team, and the FBI. The damage… https://t.co/jNBlZSdV1w— Sharon Allen (@Sharon Allen) 1534780221.0
@RudyGiuliani Simple solution. Have all witnesses sworn in, and let's hear public testimony and cross-examine fr… https://t.co/LjdITUPpX8— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@☇RiotWomenn☇) 1534778347.0
@RudyGiuliani No. The truth is the truth. When 2 people make contradictory statements about something that can be p… https://t.co/0WMkwElRtr— °jp (@°jp) 1534772156.0
The president, meanwhile, has continued to assail Mueller and his investigation.
In tweets earlier today, he was accused of obstructing justice in full purview after he called for the firing of Bruce Ohr, the former associate deputy attorney general, who was named in the controversial Nunes memo which alleged the FBI had abused its surveillance powers.
Will Bruce Ohr, whose family received big money for helping to create the phony, dirty and discredited Dossier, eve… https://t.co/GXKmnD6mvj— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534775783.0
“Bruce Ohr is at the center of FALSE ALLEGATIONS which led to a multi-million dollar investigation into what appare… https://t.co/16P69DSqvH— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534776375.0
The president also claimed, once again, that Mueller's investigation is a "Rigged Witch Hunt" and urged his followers to "Study the late Joseph McCarthy," the American senator who in the 1950s alleged that Communist and Soviet spies and their numerous sympathizers had infiltrated the United States federal government, stoking fears of a "Red Scare."
Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy lo… https://t.co/n48q2wwFlC— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534681478.0
Trump, without providing any evidence for his claim, said Mueller is "Disgraced and discredited" and accused him of overlooking corruption across the political aisle, particularly from "Angry Dems" who "are looking to impact" November's midterm elections.
Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs spent over 30 hours with the Whit… https://t.co/PO5FmEeV8V— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534764525.0
....looking for trouble. They are enjoying ruining people’s lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the… https://t.co/h1C2rifoDJ— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534765124.0
He also insisted that Mueller and his team had "made up a phony crime called Collusion," which then led calls of "Obstruction (of a phony crime that never existed)."
Where’s the Collusion? They made up a phony crime called Collusion, and when there was no Collusion they say there… https://t.co/rhy6JOF4Ch— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534765692.0
These claims are at odds with his prior claims that collusion, that is, in this case, secret and illegal cooperation with the Russian government, did happen, but that it was the fault of former Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and her campaign.