Trump’s lawyer attacks Mueller report, sees nothing wrong in taking Russian information

Updated April 22, 2019

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Giuliani mounts combative defence of Trump in Sunday talk show appearances that took aim at Mueller’s investigators. — AFP/File
Giuliani mounts combative defence of Trump in Sunday talk show appearances that took aim at Mueller’s investigators. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s top lawyer on Sunday attacked “calumny, lies and distortions” in the Mueller investigation report, and said there is “nothing wrong” with taking hacked information from Russia.

Rudy Giuliani mounted a combative defence of the president in Sunday talk show appearances that took aim at Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, the evidence they amassed and the witnesses they cited.

The former New York mayor heaped special scorn on Senator Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate who said he was “sickened” by the report’s findings and “appalled” that Trump’s election campaign “welcomed help from Russia.” “What a hypocrite. What a hypocrite. Any candidate in the whole world in America would take information,” Giuliani said of Romney on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He was referring to Democratic emails that were hacked by Russian operatives and disseminated by WikiLeaks in 2016 to hurt Trump presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

“Who says it’s even illegal?” Giuliani added. “Does the information turn out to be false, by the way? The information that was gleaned and disseminated, every newspaper printed it.”

Trump publicly encouraged Russia and WikiLeaks while top campaign officials, including his son and son-in-law, met in Trump Tower with a Russian promising dirt on Clinton.

“There is nothing wrong with taking information from the Russians. It depends on where it came from,” Giuliani said, adding that as a lawyer he would have advised against it.

“This didn’t become an international scandal because of immorality. It became an international scandal because the president was accused of violating the law falsely,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2019