By Elizabeth Zwirz, ,
Published May 05, 2018
Rudy Giuliani, a recent addition to President Donald Trump’s legal team, attempted Saturday night to clarify comments he made earlier in the week regarding a $130,000 payment that Trump attorney Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
In an appearance on Fox News' “Justice with Judge Jeanine” -- in which Giuliani also addressed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Trump ties to Russia -- the former mayor of New York City told host Jeanine Pirro that he was “still learning” the facts about the payment.
But he emphasized that Trump “did not in any way violate campaign finance law."
“This is, you know, 1.2 million documents. I’ve been in case for two weeks -- virtually one day in comparison to other people,” Giuliani said. “So I’m not an expert on the facts yet. I’m getting there.
"But I am an expert on the law, particularly the campaign finance law," he continued. "I’ve lived under it, running for president. And the fact is there’s no way this is a campaign finance violation of any kind, nor was it a loan.”
"(T)here’s no way this is a campaign finance violation of any kind, nor was it a loan.”
Giuliani, who sought the Republican Party's nomination for president in 2008, called the money exchanged between Trump and Cohen “an expenditure” that would have transpired regardless of whether Trump was running for president.
In an exclusive interview Wednesday on Fox News' “Hannity,” Giuliani had told host Sean Hannity that Trump reimbursed Cohen for a $130,000 payment that Cohen made to Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
After that interview, Giuliani clarified that he did not mean to imply that Trump knew the cash would be used to buy Daniels' silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
That Giuliani interview set off a media frenzy, because Trump had previously denied having any knowledge of a payment to Daniels.
On Friday, Giuliani put out a statement “intended to clarify” the “views” he shared during the "Hannity" interview. The statement came hours after Trump said Giuliani would “get his facts straight.”
During the Saturday night interview, Pirro also asked Giuliani for his thoughts regarding Mueller’s investigation and how, she said, Mueller's team refused to hand over a "scope memo" that describes the parameters of its investigation.
Giuliani said he believes U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who is overseeing charges brought against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, was correct in challenging the special counsel’s investigation.
“The judge, in some substance, said this is a witch hunt with a tremendous amount of government misconduct attached to it,” Giuliani said, adding that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should “dismiss this entire investigation.”
During a hearing Friday, Ellis suggested that Mueller’s team lied about the scope of its investigation, was seeking “unfettered power” and was more interested in bringing down the president.
Giuliani further maintained Saturday that “there is no evidence of collusion with the Russians” and that there was “no evidence of obstruction of justice.”
“Everything the president did, he has perfect authority to do under Article 2.”
“Everything the president did, he has perfect authority to do under Article 2,” he continued, referring to the section of the U.S. Constitution that describes presidential powers.
Fox News' Jake Gibson, Brooke Singman and Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.