Rudy Giuliani offered a new defense of the infamous Trump Tower meeting in 2016, telling Fox News host Laura Ingraham that there is “nothing illegal” about conducting opposition research on political opponents—even if it came from Russia.
GIULIANI on the Russia investigation:
“If there was collusion with the Russians, they [the Trump campaign] would’ve used it.”pic.twitter.com/pIBMnmw09C
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) May 17, 2018
They “never used it … they rejected it,” he said. “If there was collusion with the Russians, they would’ve used it,” Giuliani added, hypothetically. What Giuliani appears to be suggesting is that although the intent to collude was there, the sought-after information was not, and therefore, there’s no problem.
Giuliani’s tactic appears to be to muddy the waters through a public relations campaign as Special Counsel Robert Mueller deepens his probe into Russian election meddling and a web of financial crimes involving campaign officials and Trump associates. But will it prove helpful in Trump’s defense?
Twitter users pounced, questioning whether Giuliani’s strategy is ultimately making things worse for the president.
2017: There was no collusion.
2018: So what if there is collusion? Who cares? We all do it. https://t.co/t9EhGpxkFH
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) May 17, 2018
Giuliani with a potential unforced error on Fox News. Says "if there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it."
They being the Trump campaign. It being dirt they had on Clinton.
This seems to set the Trump legal team's bar for what constitutes collusion.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) May 17, 2018
No lawyer has ever represented his lawyer worse than Rudy represents Donald.
It’s so bad, it’s good. https://t.co/DtafV4Ts5B
— Dave Pell (@davepell) May 17, 2018
I don't know if this is helping? https://t.co/zedXUP47MV
— Katie Watson (@kathrynw5) May 17, 2018
"They never used it, is the main thing. They rejected it."
They rejected whatnow? https://t.co/gXebu4KfxM
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 17, 2018
Giuliani: "If there was collusion, they would have used it."
Trump: "I hire the best people."
This is a comedy show. https://t.co/UjX2dBauUt
— Andrew James Gregor (@andrewjgregor) May 17, 2018
Giuliani admitted that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Russian agents at Trump Tower after being promised dirt on Democrat Hillary Clinton. But the Russians immediately changed the tenor of the meeting to sanctions, at which point the Trump party walked out, Giuliani claimed. No information was shared about Clinton, he said, and therefore, there was no collusion.
On Wednesday night, Giuliani rationalized the meeting, which was attended by high ranking Trump campaign surrogates and Russian operatives, by saying, “when I ran against [the Democrats], they were looking for dirt on me every day.”
That’s what you do, maybe you shouldn’t, but you do. Nothing illegal about that…Even if it comes from a Russian or a German or an American, doesn’t matter.