CNN’s John King: If Giuliani’s Calls With Someone at OMB Were No Big Deal, as Trump Claims, Then ‘Prove It’


CNN chief national correspondent John King called for President Donald Trump to prove that the phone calls his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani’s made to the Office of Management and Budget were not unethical — or, as the president put it, were not “a big deal.”

The House Intelligence Committee’s 300-page impeachment report on Tuesday revealed that Giuliani made numerous calls to the OMB, but the purpose for the communication between the two entities is unknown. Trump attempted to downplay the significance of his lawyer’s calls with the OMB, saying, “So somebody said he made a phone call into the White House. What difference does that make? Is that supposed to be a big deal? I don’t think so.”

On Wednesday, King raised ethical questions about Giuliani’s contacts.

“I’m sorry, why?” the CNN anchor asked of the phone calls. “If it’s no big deal as the president said, if it has nothing to do with the Ukraine military aid being held up, why is the president’s personal attorney calling agencies in the United States government?”

“Was it for his client the president? [Trump] has a budget director, his chief of staff used to be the budget director, I think still technically under the law is the budget director, or is [Giuliani] calling for some other client?” he added. “Is he lobbying for somebody while he’s the president’s lawyer caught up in all this mess — in the ‘drain the swamp’ administration? There should be some level of transparency in government, and so, if it’s no big deal, prove it’s no big deal.”

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin chimed in to note that while Giuliani’s conversations with Trump may be protected under attorney client privilege — though, King even had questions about that, asking, “What legal work did he do? I’d like to know” — officials at OMB to whom Giuliani spoke could explain the details of the calls.

“There’s no way that’s covered by attorney client privilege. That would settle the issue altogether. Why did Giuliani call you? What did he say? And that is how a legitimate investigation is allowed to proceed,” Toobin said. “This has been a complete stonewall, and that, to me, is as bad as any of the underlying conduct.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma