Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey never discussed former national security adviser Mike Flynn, backtracking from July comments in which he indicated otherwise.
“There was no conversation about Michael Flynn,” Trump’s personal attorney said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “That is what he will testify to if he’s asked that question.”
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He also told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he never said the president had asked Comey to give Flynn a break. “I said that is what Comey is saying,” Giuliani said.
Tapper referenced comments by Giuliani to ABC last month in which the attorney said Trump did not ask Comey to drop the investigation. “He didn’t direct him to do that,” Giuliani said in July. “What he said to him was, ‘Can you give him a break?’”
Flynn, an outspoken adviser to Trump’s campaign, served briefly as his national security adviser. During an FBI investigation into Flynn, Comey said Trump told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”
The retired general was ultimately found to have misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian officials during the transition period, prompting Trump to fire him when that news surfaced weeks after the inauguration.
Giuliani’s remarks came as part of his broader argument that special counsel Robert Mueller is setting a “perjury trap” by favoring Comey’s account of events over Trump’s, which he says would incriminate the president if his testimony does not match Comey’s.
“The president says he never told Comey he should go easy on Flynn. Comey says the president did; he put it in his memo,” Giuliani added. “So if he goes in and testifies to that under oath, instead of this being a dispute, they can say it’s perjury.”
The former New York City mayor said it was “far-fetched” to say that the president can never obstruct justice — he suggested a scenario whereby the president held a gun to someone‘s head could definitely constitute obstruction — but said the argument becomes “very questionable” in the context of the president firing someone who reports to him.