Donald Trump’s lawyer again questioned the legitimacy of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election as a possible interview of Trump by the special counsel.
“We’re more convinced as we see it that this is a rigged investigation,” Rudy Giuliani said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Nation.” Asked if he sees the investigation as legitimate, Giuliani, who joined Trump’s legal team in mid-April, replied: “Not any more. I don’t. I did when it came in.”
Giuliani is seeking a readout of the classified information Justice Department officials shared with lawmakers Thursday about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russian meddling. Trump has made an unsubstantiated claim that an informant who contacted advisers to his 2016 campaign was a political “spy.”
“It should be very easy to brief us,” Giuliani said. “The White House has every right to know, the president has every right to know as commander-in-chief.”
Giuliani has taken those claims further, arguing in an interview with the Associated Press Friday that what Trump has called dubbed “Spygate” might make Mueller’s investigation illegitimate. He also said former FBI Director James Comey was guilty of an illegal leak when he directed a friend to provide the contents of memos about his interactions with Trump to the media in May 2017, which led to bipartisan calls for a special counsel in the Russia investigation.
“The whole thing was a mistake and should never have happened,” Giuliani told the Associated Press, adding that the Justice Department should acknowledge the error.
Giuliani said Sunday that he doesn’t believe the alleged informant was being protected, calling the FBI and Justice “a little hypocritical.”
Whether Trump will agree to be interviewed remains uncertain. Giuliani said the president’s legal team would wait until seeing a report on the substance of information with lawmakers, shared in two separate meetings. Previously he said a decision wouldn’t be made until after the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore. Trump canceled that meeting Thursday, but it may still take place.
The briefings of lawmakers came in response to Trump’s demand to fully investigate the use of the confidential informant, which he called in a tweet “one of the biggest political scandals in history.”
On Sunday, Giuliani said Mueller could limit the interview to two topics: collusion and obstruction.
“It’s contingent on every point being worked out — it’s kind of like the North Korea negotiations but not as important,” Giuliani said. He added that he’s not as comfortable with the topic of obstruction because “it’s matter of interpretation,” including Trump’s comments on firing Comey last year as head of the FBI.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., subpoenaed the Justice Department and the FBI for classified information about the informant. Top congressional Democrats have argued that Republicans want to use the information to undermine the Russia investigation.
(Terrence Dopp contributed to this report.)
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