WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday clarified comments he made about discussions between Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen and then-candidate Trump about a real estate project in Moscow.
Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower project in January 2016 even though prosecutors say he actually pursued it into June.
Giuliani suggested in a TV interview Sunday that Trump remembers conversations with Cohen about the project “up to as far as October, November,” or right up until the 2016 presidential election. That extends the timeline for negotiations well beyond what the president has publicly acknowledged.
Giuliani said Monday in a three-sentence statement that his comments “did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any discussions.” He said his comments were “hypothetical” and “not based on conversations” he had with the president.
He concluded by saying the Moscow project “was in the earliest stage and did not advance beyond a free non-binding letter of intent.”
Earlier comments clarified
This was the second time within the past week that Giuliani has walked back comments from the previous day.
On Thursday, he issued a statement aimed at clarifying a TV interview from the night before in which he appeared to leave open the possibility of collusion between Russia and members of Trump’s presidential campaign.
In the statement, he said “there was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form” and that he had “no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign.”
That was an apparent reversal from Wednesday’s television appearance in which he said, “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign.” He had previously denied any collusion.