Former NYC Mayor and the newest addition to Trump's legal team Rudy Giuliani is trying to explain why he revealed that President Donald Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen for the $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, of which Trump has vehemently denied having any knowledge up until this week. Cohen previously insisted that the $130,000 came from a home equity loan.
Speaking via telephone with NBC News on Thursday evening, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he decided to go public with the news because:
I wanted to get out in front of the special counsel and the Southern District (of New York) because at some point they would realize this information and leak it...I don't think the president realized he paid him (Cohen) back for that specific thing until we (his legal team) made him aware of the paperwork.
Trump has changed his story about Stormy Daniels. The President says Michael Cohen was paid via a retainer after Ru… https://t.co/KTv5gWc9bO— CNN (@CNN) 1525359794.0
Giuliani continued to say that "if there was no campaign, Cohen would have made the same payment in the same amount to prevent personal embarrassment and heartache to his wife. Giuliani insisted that Cohen "thought he was doing it to help alleviate a personal problem."
Giuliani's revelation represents a complete reversal from Trump & Co.'s absolute denials that the president had any knowledge of the payment at the time it was made. Giuliani also explained that Trump made "about 12 installments of $35,000 each" to Cohen to cover the costs of the payments. In total, Trump paid Cohen $420,000 for other fees and services that Giuliani was unable to specify.
Okay, so who had in their predictions that Rudy Giuliani would come back in the middle of an episode and burn the whole house down?— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈) 1525378369.0
On Thursday morning, Giuliani also walked back denials that the payment to Stormy Daniels wasn't about the 2016 election, something which Trump and his lawyers have insisted for months. "Imagine if that came out on Oct. 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton," he told Fox & Friends.
Aaaand he did it again. Explaining why Cohen paid the hush money to Stormy Daniels, #RudyGiuliani says: "Imagine i… https://t.co/j9L3GvxnBz— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D) 1525349689.0
He later told Fox's Maria Bartiromo that the payment was not a campaign finance violation, as has been alleged because campaign funds weren't used.
Rudy Giuliani on the Cohen payment: "They don't bother to tell you because they/Mueller don't have any honor, that… https://t.co/g62UtWje0B— Jay 🇺🇸 (@Jay 🇺🇸) 1525407382.0
Needless to say, Giuliani's remarks have sparked a firestorm of questions and suspicions over what Trump knew and when he knew it. Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, are suing Trump over the non-disclosure agreement that accompanied the $130,000, in addition to having filed a defamation suit against the president for calling Daniels a liar.
Experts weighed in on Giuliani's decision to torpedo Trump's chief defense against allegations of impropriety and campaign finance law violations.
CNN: Former Kenn Starr prosecutor Solomon Wisenberg on Rudy Giuliani on Fox "He metaphorically murdered the preside… https://t.co/6Q2pRtzC0b— Stevens (@Stevens) 1525438405.0
Joining @TheLastWord with @Lawrence at 10 pm to discuss whether Rudy Giuliani is the worst lawyer on Trump’s legal… https://t.co/Jr5eU4sUmq— Matthew Miller (@Matthew Miller) 1525397541.0
.@Lawrence: Rudy Giuliani "has caused more legal problems for his client President Trump than any other lawyer invo… https://t.co/PmBQ8qa3R3— MSNBC (@MSNBC) 1525407243.0
"Rudy Giuliani gave America evidence that the President committed a crime." - Paul S. Ryan, VP for Policy and Litig… https://t.co/5FPg1k5vTa— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) 1525390397.0