WATCH: George Stephanopoulos Momentarily Breaks Stammering Giuliani With Devastating Point
On ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani put on his second big show of the day, following a brutal grilling by Fox’s Chris Wallace, and had a quiet moment when host George Stephanopoulos made a point about American Media Inc., the National Enquirer’s corporate parent.
Stephanopoulos showed the clip of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, and asks Giuliani to react to it. He did react, and it was the first of several oddly-paced, eccentric responses in the strange interview.
“Pathetic. The man is pathetic. That’s a lawyer you were interviewing,” said Giuliani, before a breathy, mocking impersonation of Cohen’s remarks. “And he says he, ‘he did, not me, he directed me to do it, and he, oh my goodness he directed me.'”
“He’s a lawyer. He’s the guy you depend on to determine whether you do it this or that way,” said Giuliani, suggesting Cohen directed Trump.
After more back-and-forth, Giuliani said of Cohen, “unless you’re God, this man, you will never know what the truth is.”
Giuliani blasted Cohen for several more minutes, saying he would be destroyed on the stand, and that there is no corroborating evidence of his claims.
So Stephanopoulos brought up AMI’s David Pecker and the deal the company made with prosecutors, under the terms of which they corroborated Cohen’s account, contrary to Giuliani’s claim of no corroboration.
Giuliani said AMI got immunity because they and Pecker implicated Trump, and that Jerome Corsi got no immunity because he wouldn’t. When Stephanopoulos objected that the Southern District wouldn’t make a statement of fact if they didn’t believe it, and as he did with Fox’s Wallace, Giuliani then changed tack to say that it doesn’t matter because it’s not illegal.
“You see what we’re talking about? It’s not a crime. It’s not a crime, George,” he said. “Paying $130,000 to Stormy whatever, and paying a hundred thousand to the other one, is not a crime. The Edwards case determined that — she was paid a million one, to be a no-show in his campaign.”
When Stephanopoulos points out that the John Edwards‘ case had different circumstances, and that they judge made a different determination, Giuliani said that the FEC ruled it was no violation, something Cohen attorney in his trial Lanny Davis said was false later in the show.
Stephanopoulos pointed out that the judge said “if it was in part to help the campaign” it would be a violation, which Giuliani called “a wrong instruction” by the judge.
“It has to be for the sole purpose, of helping the campaign,” he said. “If there’s another purpose, it’s no longer a campaign contribution. If there’s a personal purpose.”
“Now think about this, suppose he tried to use his campaign funds to pay off Stormy Daniels, it would be totally illegal,” he continued. “If it’s not a campaign expense, it can’t be a campaign contribution. These are not campaign contributions.”
“But the corporate contribution from AMI would be clearly illegal,” said Stephanopoulos.
That’s when Giuliani paused and gazed off set for a beat before his nuh-uh.
“No it, no it would not be,” he said super-convincingly. “It’s not a contribution.”
Giuliani was making two arguments. First, he was implying for the viewer that only direct contributions of money count under the law, which is plainly false and discounts in-kind contributions. It’s not a given that this was an in-kind contribution, and in the Edwards case the judge and the FEC weren’t in agreement about that, but Giuliani is trying to lead the viewer to think that only a direct contribution ever matters. Just not true.
His other argument was the one he explicitly argued: that it can’t be a contribution if the campaign purpose is only one of the contribution’s purposes.
“It’s not a contribution if it’s intended for a purpose in addition to the campaign purpose,” he said. He cited the Edwards case again, and pointed out that the payment made in that case was both for the campaign and to avoid personal embarrassment and revealing the information to his family.
When Stephanopoulos said that the Trump situation was different in that the concern was explicitly the campaign, and Giuliani said that wasn’t so.
“I can produce an enormous number of witnesses who say the president was very concerned about how this would affect his children, his marriage, not just this one but similar, all those women came forward at that point in time, that tape with Billy Bush, and all of that. It was all part of the same thing,” offered Giuliani in a pretty character-damning defense. “I know what he was concerned about. And I can produce 20 witnesses to tell you what he was concerned about.”
“Two weeks before the campaign?” asked Stephanopoulos.
“Damn right,” Giuliani replied.
From there they turned naturally to saying Obama did it first and nobody complained about him, and on it went.
Watch the clip above, courtesy of ABC News.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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