Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
As the attorney to the president, Rudy Giuliani has leaned into the unorthodox strategy of going on TV and apparently saying whatever comes into his head. It’s led to a seemingly endless series of perplexing spectacles, but his latest dustup with CNN’s Chris Cuomo — in which the former New York mayor backpedaled from the claim that President Donald Trump’s campaign never colluded with Russia — ranks high among his most baffling appearances.
Giuliani tried to argue that he has never said the Trump campaign didn’t collude with Russia. Instead, he now says that he has only ever insisted that the president himself never colluded with the Russians while remaining agnostic on the rest of the team’s involvement.
Unfortunately for this line of argument, video-recording technology exists.
As CBS News showed in a mashup of Giuliani’s past comments, he has rarely if ever circumscribed his denials of collusion in this way. He has repeatedly said unequivocally that there was “no collusion” with regard to the Russia investigation.
In at least one comment, Giuliani acknowledged that there was contact between the campaign and Russia (something Trump and Vice President Mike Pence previously denied vigorously), but, he asserted, it “led to nothing.” He added: “So, if anything, it’s proof there was no collusion.”
Some argue that Giuliani latest change of tune is not some gaffe — he’s trying to get out in front of damaging news. It’s not clear whether that’s true — he’s hardly been the most strategic thinker in recent months — but we should know soon enough.
Watch the clip below:
Giuliani: “I never said there was no collusion” between Trump campaign and Russia.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 17, 2019