Rudy Giuliani tore into Michael Cohen on Monday over his secretly recorded conversation with President Trump, questioning whether someone tampered with the tape and calling the former Trump Organization attorney one of the “biggest liars in America.”
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who now serves as Trump's attorney, said on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning “there is no doubt one of [the tapes] were cut off.”
“He erased them, sure,” Giuliani said, explaining that the Trump legal team has “experts going through it.” “Is this a recording of a recording? Did he cut it off at the time? Or go to a laboratory or whatever the hell he had and cut it off?”
Giuliani’s comments come after he suggested over the weekend that the tape, released by Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, was “played” with.
The tape is a recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen discussing a possible payment for the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal's story claiming an affair with Trump.
The 2016 conversation came weeks after the National Enquirer's parent company reached a $150,000 deal to pay McDougal for her story of a 2006 affair, which it never published, a tabloid practice known as "catch and kill." But Trump's legal team says such a transaction on their end never happened.
The key moment in the tape is when Cohen talks about financing and Trump asks, "What financing?"
What comes next is garbled. Cohen says they’ll “have to pay” something, and Trump can be heard saying “pay with cash” – after which Cohen repeatedly says “no, no, no.”
A transcript provided by the Trump legal team, though, asserts that Trump said: “Don’t pay with cash . . . check.”
Giuliani has claimed the rest of the recording -- had it not stopped -- would have been “exculpatory.” Trump and Giuliani have both questioned why it cut off.
Giuliani said Monday that the Trump team actually knows of “183 recordings” from Cohen, but many of them involved people having nothing to do with Trump. Giuliani said the now-public Trump-Cohen tape is the only one involving the president.
The others, Giuliani explained, are recordings where Cohen is speaking with third parties and describing his version of what happened in regard to payments to McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has also said she had an affair with Trump before his election as president.
“That will give you an idea of what a scoundrel he was,” Giuliani said of Cohen.
Also last week, Cohen claimed the president had knowledge of the controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving his son Donald Trump Jr., campaign members, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who supposedly promised “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
Trump last week blasted Cohen, maintaining that he “did NOT know of the meeting.”
Giuliani on Monday stood by the president’s claim, saying that there are “at least four separate witnesses” who say the president was not involved in the meeting.
“People say he was never there. There are at least four separate witnesses who say that against a guy who has kinda proven to be one of the biggest liars in America,” Giuliani said on “Fox & Friends.”
The Giuliani comments about the meeting, though, stirred some confusion as nobody has alleged the president was at the Trump Tower meeting. Giuliani later called into Fox News’ “Outnumbered” Monday afternoon to clarify a few points. He said there was another alleged meeting, not yet made public, where top campaign officials discussed the sit-down with the Russians – but Giuliani said this discussion “never, ever took place.” Further, he disputed Cohen’s claim that Trump was informed of the Russian offer in another meeting.
He also stirred controversy on “Fox & Friends” by claiming collusion is not a crime; he later stood by the remarks but stressed that their position is the campaign did not collude with Russia.
Giuliani also criticized Cohen Monday morning for recording his conversation with Trump without his consent, noting that it was a “disbarrable offense.”
Davis, though, said over the weekend that Giuliani was “confused.”
“Mr. Giuliani seems to be confused,” Davis said in a statement. “He expressly waived attorney client privilege last week and repeatedly and inaccurately—as proven by the tape—talked and talked about the recording, forfeiting all confidentiality.”
But Giuliani said on Monday that he “waived” privilege “only after [Davis] released the tape.”
“The president’s innocence, having done nothing wrong, has been proven over and over again,” Giuliani said. “This is theater of the absurd.”
Fox News' Ellison Barber and Matt Leach contributed to this report.