Rudy Giuliani seemed to confirm on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that President Donald Trump actually did ask former FBI Director James Comey to drop the probe into ex-White House national security adviser Michael Flynn despite Trump’s previous denials that he said anything of the sort.
After host George Stephanopoulos said to Giuliani that Comey says he took Trump’s remark as direction, Giuliani responded that he was also told, “Can you give the man a break?” many times as a prosecutor.
“He didn’t direct him to do that,” Giuliani said. “What he said was, can you, can you …”
“Comey says he took it as direction,” Stephanopoulos interjected.
“Well, that’s okay. He could have taken it that way, but by that time he had been fired,” Giuliani responded. “He said a lot of other things, some of which has turned out to be untrue. The reality is, as a prosecutor, I was told that many times, ‘can you give the man a break,’ either by his lawyers, by his relatives, by his friends. You take that into consideration. But you know that doesn’t determine not going forward with it.”
Trump’s lawyer made the comment while dismissing Comey as a potential witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
Comey testified to senators in June of last year that Trump told him during an Oval Office meeting the previous February that he hoped Comey could “see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Trump has denied discussing Flynn with Comey. During a May 2017 news conference, Trump said when asked if he had urged Comey to ease up on the Flynn investigation, “no, no,” and then said, “next question.”
Politico’s Josh Gerstein was the first to point out the discrepancy between Giuliani’s comments and Trump’s denial.
Flynn resigned in February 2017 after it became public that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence over whether he discussed US sanctions with Moscow’s ambassador to the US before the inauguration.
Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and is cooperating with the special counsel’s office.