US President Donald Trump’s top lawyer on Sunday condemned what he described as “calumny, lies and distortions” in the Mueller report, and insisted there is “nothing wrong” with accepting hacked information from Russia.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani mounted a combative defense of Trump in Sunday talk show appearances that took aim at Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, the evidence they amassed and the witnesses they cited.
Giuliani lashed out at Senator Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate who on Friday said he was “sickened” by the report’s findings and “appalled” that Trump’s election campaign “welcomed help from Russia.”
On CNN’s State of the Union, Giuliani said of Romney, “What a hypocrite. What a hypocrite. Any candidate in the whole world in America would take information.”
He was referring to Democratic emails that were hacked by Russian operatives and disseminated by WikiLeaks in 2016 to undermine 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.
His comments echoed Trump, who mocked Romney on Twitter Sunday, after lashing out Friday at the “bullshit” Mueller report. The president was in Palm Beach, Florida, where he attended Easter services.
– with reporting by AFP