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CNN NEWSROOM

Interview With Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani Aired 9:30- 9:40a

Aired July 9, 2018 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:30:00]

BASH: -- of Trump wrongdoing and show that his testimony is essential to completing the investigation. I want to go straight to President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Mayor Giuliani, thank you so much for joining me this morning.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Thank you, Dana.

BASH: Thank you. And these new terms particularly that Robert Mueller must show proof of Trump wrongdoing to agree to an interview, you actually have said that you don't think that Mueller would even agree to it.

So why do this dance? Why not just tell the special counsel, sorry, no interview?

GIULIANI: Well, we'd like to know if there is any factual basis for the investigation originally or they've developed one, because we can't find one. Nor can anyone else, nor have they with all the leaking they've done even leaked one, which I think would have happened immediately because they want to justify themselves.

The fact is -- I should correct it. I didn't say they have to prove a crime.

BASH: Right.

GIULIANI: What I said was they have to give us a factual basis, meaning some suspicion of a crime. For example, I can't initiate an investigation of my neighbor just because I don't like him or just because he's politically different than me --

BASH: Right. So they need to prove --

GIULIANI: -- which is really what happened here.

BASH: So they need to prove to you that they have evidence -- that they have more than suspicion that the president did something.

I want to push back on you, though. Of course there is a basis for this investigation. The whole investigation started back before the special counsel was even appointed based on information that the FBI and Justice Department got from sources dealing with a whole bunch of people related to the Trump campaign.

So it's not -- it's a little bit of a red herring to say there is no basis and there's no evidence for this investigation.

GIULIANI: The fact is that that investigation is highly suspect. It's under investigation right now by Horowitz. He has suggested that it was influenced initially by bias.

The same guy that did that, who has said horrendous things about Trump, never vetted by Mueller, became a head of Mueller's team. I mean, there's more -- there are more things wrong with--

BASH: Horowitz has talked about the Clinton investigation.

GIULIANI: Dana -- wait, wait, let me finish. But then the guy who ran it was made in charge of this investigation and has unbelievable bias against President Trump.

Now, how you can say that that's a legitimate investigation, well, then there are no illegitimate investigations. I mean, the reality is there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the president, no evidence of collusion. People can have some evidence of Russian this, Russian that, but not a single bit of evidence.

They've been through 1.4 million documents --

BASH: If that's the case, why doesn't the president just fire Robert Mueller? I mean, you're trying so hard to --

GIULIANI: Because if he did it, everyone would say that he was guilty. And that's why he fired them. Look what happened with Comey.

Now he's completely vindicated in firing Comey. The Horowitz report actually says if a president didn't do that, he would be derelict in his duties. I mean, Comey has turned out to be the biggest villain in this piece.

BASH: OK. That's -- we could and do half an hour on trying to pick apart that. But let's just focus on one thing that you said, that there is no evidence -- you say that the special counsel hasn't produced evidence, but they haven't said they have no evidence.

I mean, they have, you said there have been leaks. They have been remarkably tight-lipped besides having to do with indictments and such.

GIULIANI: No, they haven't. They leaked reports -- they leaked reports. They leaked meetings.

They're leaking on Manafort right now. They leaked Cohen before it happened.

BASH: But this is an ongoing investigation. We don't really know what they have and what they don't have. That's fair, right?

GIULIANI: I have a pretty good idea because I've seen all the documents that they have. We've debriefed all their witnesses. And we've --

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: You debriefed all of their witnesses?

GIULIANI: Well, I think so. I mean, the ones that were involved in the joint defense agreement which constitutes all the critical ones. They have nothing, Dana.

They wouldn't be pressing for this interview if they had anything. If they had evidence of a crime, they would write a report. And they can't write their report because on collusion they have nothing.

BASH: OK.

GIULIANI: On obstruction they have constitutionally suspect theory that you can charge a president with some kind of crime for exercising his duties as a president and removing the worst FBI director in history that Hillary Clinton would have removed.

BASH: Well, we're going to wait and see what evidence they have, but on this question of the interview. You well know that Robert Mueller could, if he really wants an interview, he could issue a subpoena.

But are you banking on the fact, putting these new guidelines on, these new conditions on an interview, are you banking on the fact that Robert Mueller just won't take that step, won't subpoena the president?

[09:35:02]

GIULIANI: I am not. I have no idea what he's going to do. I think if he does, we could have the subpoena quashed.

To subpoena the president, never been done successfully in the history of this country. There is very, very strong law that the president cannot be subjected to criminal process. There is very good argument (INAUDIBLE) governing Mueller says that, but certainly constitutional law may say it.

The reality is that we have a very strong argument that they haven't made the case for an interview. They don't show what's called particularized need, even for lesser officials like the Espy case, which says you can't just subpoena a public official. You have to show some particularized need.

If you can get the evidence elsewhere. For example, on obstruction, all the evidence they need, they can get from the Lester Holt interview.

BASH: Well, what if --

GIULIANI: Now NBC -- NBC plays an abridged version of it and leaves out the end which exonerates the president.

BASH: What if the president -- GIULIANI: The president says -- the president says, I fired him for the good of the American people, even knowing it would extend the investigation.

BASH: What if --

GIULIANI: That's a complete defense to obstruction.

BASH: What if the special counsel presents you with things that he wants to ask the president, that he can't get elsewhere, which has been the standard for a presidential interview. Will the president then comply with the interview?

GIULIANI: That would be -- as long as he gave us the basis for his investigation and his continuing it.

You talk about the counter-intelligence investigation. Well, we know it happened. We know it's highly suspect because the people doing it were extremely biased.

We know they came over to this investigation. What we don't know is, did they find anything? Honestly, they didn't.

I think we also have to realize as a legal challenge --

BASH: Well, we don't know that yet. I just need to say that on the record. That's your suspicion but we don't know that yet.

GIULIANI: I am willing to say that based on my analysis of this and Sekulow's and even John Dowd back at the beginning, I've never seen a situation in which we pressed them for, what do you have, you want him to testify, tell us what you have, and they go mum on us. Usually that means they have nothing.

BASH: I want to ask --

GIULIANI: I wanted to get a witness to testify. I gave him at least one good fact that would shake their day.

BASH: I want to ask you about something that is new this weekend, and that is the special counsel apparently wants to interview White House chief of staff John Kelly. And that, too, is up in the air.

What is the Mueller team saying to your team about what they want to discuss with Kelly?

GIULIANI: They're not. They're dealing with Emmet on that, Emmet Flood, the president's special counsel for this investigation, as is the right thing to do.

I'm glad to see that Emmet is using a high standard, because after all, we've given them everything they asked, 32 witnesses, no invocation of privilege, 1.4 million documents, no invocation of privilege --

BASH: This is pretty new. Most -- (CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: -- have nothing to hide.

BASH: Most if not all Trump -- most if not all Trump officials, former and present, who have been asked to come talk to the special counsel have complied. This is new saying no.

GIULIANI: Yes. But I think this is new saying no after the Horowitz report, after -- hey, I would like to see texts from all the people working for Mueller. He never looked at the text of the people he had to fire, like Peter Strzok.

What about -- what about the -- what about the people who supported Hillary Clinton, gave her $36,000, cried at her victory or funeral party? What about their texts?

Did they write similarly very, very prejudice things about the president so they shouldn't be involved in this investigation? Mueller never found that out. It had to be forced on him.

BASH: Are you trying to --

GIULIANI: He didn't (INAUDIBLE) anybody.

BASH: Are you trying to delay this investigation, at least the conclusion of the investigation until after the midterms?

GIULIANI: I want to get it -- I want to get it over with.

BASH: Until after the midterms, would you rather at this point --

GIULIANI: No.

BASH: No.

GIULIANI: I don't let political considerations enter into this.

BASH: Really?

GIULIANI: I think that's for other people that -- absolutely. I mean, I'm defending a man who is being wrongfully accused, probably more than any other. We may very well have a constitutional proceeding.

I recommend Professor Dershowitz's new book on that which makes a very strong case about impeaching President Trump on the grounds that it's unconstitutional as it's being applied by Mueller.

BASH: But if he has -- but if he has done nothing wrong, why are you discussing impeachment?

GIULIANI: Because the Democrats discuss it, because everyone else discusses it, and it's the only thing that can result. Mueller can't indict. So what is he doing? I think -- and he's got all Hillary partisans, 13 angry Democrats working for him. What the heck do you think they're doing? I mean, they have got people like Maxine Waters, and I would have to be an idiot not to hear what they're saying.

She basically has written off the constitution says, high crime and misdemeanors, treason and bribery. She says, we can impeach the president if we want.

BASH: To be clear -- to be clear for the record, and you know this, the leaders of the Democratic Party right now are saying, we aren't going there.

[09:40:04]

But -- but -- but -- but let's move -- let's move on -- let's move on from that.