Giuliani: I’m ‘focused on the law more than the facts right now’

CBS News

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that he is still getting up to speed on the facts of the President’s legal situation, but the payment to Stormy Daniels did not require him to have a full accounting of the details at hand.

“Well, I have just on been on board couple of weeks,” Giuliani said in a phone interview with CNN.

“I haven’t been able to read the 1.2 million documents,” he continued. “I am focused on the law more than the facts right now. A couple of things were fairly easy to dispose of. The whole situation of the $130,000 doesn’t require an analysis of the facts because it wasn’t intended as a campaign contribution. It was intended as a personal, embarrassing, harassing claim.”

Giuliani’s comments come after a whirlwind week of news interviews in which the former New York City mayor made several eye-opening remarks. Earlier Sunday, he did not rule out to ABC News that Trump could plead the Fifth Amendment in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and insisted that Trump would not have to comply with a potential subpoena. Giuliani also told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, could have doled out payments like the one he made to Daniels to other women, though he said he had “no knowledge” of other such agreements.

Giuliani spoke with CNN after meeting with Trump on what the former New York mayor described as a “mostly social” visit.

“He was in a good mood and feels like things are moving in the right direction,” Giuliani said.

The meeting took place at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, a person familiar with it said.

Giuliani said they have “an agreed upon plan,” but noted the plan is flexible, depending on what they see from Mueller.

Giuliani expanded on comments he has made about his role, saying from the start, he would be focused on legal issues, leaving Trump free to focus on the work of the presidency.

“He has a lot bigger things to focus on than this investigation coming to a head right now, whether it’s Iran or North Korea,” Giuliani said. “So the President’s concentration has to be on that.”

He went on to assert that the need for presidents to focus on overseeing the country is “why the founding fathers created immunity for a president, so the President can’t be indicted.”

During the interview, Giuliani also said he thought Daniels’ appearance on the latest episode of “Saturday Night Live” undermined the seriousness of her claims and touted comments on Friday from a federal judge in Virginia, T.S. Ellis, questioning Mueller’s intentions.

“I’m really happy with the judge’s analysis of the (former Trump campaign Chairman Paul) Manafort case, his furious warnings to the special counsel, because they apply with equal force to our case,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani joined Trump’s legal team last month, and in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday evening, he admitted for the first time that Trump had reimbursed his attorney Michael Cohen for the hush money payment to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.

Trump on Friday said Giuliani was still getting his facts straight in the early days of his time on the President’s legal team, and since that interview Wednesday, Giuliani has continued to speak at length in Trump’s defense.

Asked why he made his comments on the Daniels payment given his stated role with Trump is to respond to the Russia investigation, Giuliani said, “I thought that too.”