Chuck Todd and Rudy Giuliani Clash Over Russia: So It’s Okay to ‘Work With Material Stolen by Foreign Adversaries?’


Chuck Todd got heated with Rudy Giuliani on Meet the Press this morning over whether it’s now okay for campaigns to “work with material stolen by foreign adversaries.”

Todd started out by asking if both he and Trump accept not only that Russia interfered in the election, but did so to help Trump.

Giuliani said on the latter, “I believe it was. I can’t tell you for sure.”

Todd specifically pressed Giuliani on how the Trump campaign, per the Mueller report, “expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through the Russian efforts.”

He brought up Trump’s past praise of Wikileaks, and Giuliani responded that “they were putting out things that were true and very, very damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

Giuliani compared it to the Pentagon Papers. Todd shot back, “This is a foreign adversary, though.”

The president’s lawyer said the information hurt Clinton because it was true, no matter how it was obtained.

“In 2016, the intelligence services knew that WikiLeaks was not a journalistic enterprise anymore,” Todd said. “It may have started that way. That it was serving as a front for essentially foreign adversary intelligence dumps. Why did the president think it was ethical to essentially trumpet what WikiLeaks was doing?”

“Even in law enforcement, if I’m running an investigation and all of a sudden evidence is given to me about the criminality of the person I’m investigating, even if it comes from a… questionable source,” Giuliani responded, “I’m going to use that information.”

Todd asked why any American would participate in “helping their manipulation.” Giuliani said no one was participating, but Todd again went back to Trump praising Wikileaks.

As they kept going back and forth over Russian interference, Todd asked why Trump isn’t “angrier at the Russians” and instead angry at Mueller and Don McGahn.

“Why wouldn’t you be angry at someone who tried to frame you for a crime and accused you of treason when it is absolutely untrue?” Giuliani fired back before talking about how the investigation itself should be investigated.

At one point Todd asked, “So it is now okay for political campaigns to work with material stolen by foreign adversaries?”

“It depends on the stolen material,” Giuliani responded.

As he started to bring up the Pentagon Papers again, Todd asked, “You’re putting the Pentagon Papers and Vladimir Putin on the same level of morality?””

“No, the theft,” Giuliani shot back. “How often have newspapers and you covered stolen classified material?”

“I hope not often,” Todd said.

“Well, you do!” Giuliani said. “You do, and you justify it.”

In a separate interview on CNN this morning, Giuliani said that there’s “nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.”

You can watch the full interview above, via NBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac