Giuliani: Trump repaid Cohen for Stormy payment

Rudy Giuliani, a recent addition to President Donald Trump's legal team, said President Donald Trump paid back his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 of hush money that was used to pay off Stormy Daniels in an interview with Fox News.

Posted: May 4, 2018 4:50 AM
Updated: May 4, 2018 4:50 AM

Here's how you get from Russian election meddling to North Korean meddling on a Fox News interview couch.

We've reached the point in this story where the lawyer defending the President in a possible obstruction or conspiracy case about possible election meddling and collusion with agents in one country is making bombshell foreign policy pronouncements about another country.

In fact, Rudy Giuliani, who once coveted a high-level role in the administration and is now part of President Donald Trump's legal effort, was arguing that Trump's work on foreign policy is being distracted by special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian election meddling investigation.

Giuliani's argument, essentially, is that Trump is too busy for a "silly" deposition by Mueller.

"The President of the United States," said Giuliani, "is getting ready to negotiate one of our historic agreements since opening of China, and we got Kim Jong Un impressed enough to be releasing three prisoners today, and I have got to go there and [Trump lawyer] Jay Sekulow and ... we have to go there and prepare him for this silly deposition about a case in which he supposedly colluded with the Russians, and there is no evidence of that. Everybody forgets the basis of the case is dead. Sessions should step in and close it. And say enough's enough."

There you go!

Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop the Russia investigation because North Korea.

Except that's not really the way things work.

There's no doubt that North Korea is at the negotiating table in a way it has not been in recent years. And Trump deserves some credit for that? Absolutely.

But the strange development in Giuliani's appearance is that the lawyer advising the President in a probe that has led to guilty pleas and indictments is arguing the President shouldn't answer "silly" questions because it hurts his ability to impress Kim Jong Un.

The underlying argument here is the notion from Giuliani that the Russia investigation is getting in the way of Trump's day job, which is being President.

It's not a new argument.

Trump did much the same when he tweeted Wednesday about all the other things going on in his world besides the Russia investigation.

"There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap)," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "What there is is Negotiations going on with North Korea over Nuclear War, Negotiations going on with China over Trade Deficits, Negotiations on NAFTA, and much more. Witch Hunt!"

The irony is that in the same interview in which Giuliani said a deposition would be silly, he confirmed, essentially, that both Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had said things that weren't true about the hush money Michael Cohen paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump a decade ago. They both said Trump didn't know about the payment by Cohen. Turns out, Trump reimbursed Cohen for it. The President's aides say Daniels' claims are false despite the payment.

Obviously, the Cohen matter is distinct from the Russia investigation. But it's emblematic of the larger problems with truth that this White House encounters on a daily basis.

The other issue is that Giuliani is, essentially, clouding the North Korea developments with the Russia investigation. If a new detente with North Korea comes to be, the President will not likely want it associated with possible election meddling.

But the strangest and most alarming thing is that the President's adviser in a legal matter seems to have inside knowledge about high-level talks with North Korea.

The release of those three prisoners had not been formally announced when Giuliani made his comment. It still hasn't. CNN has been reporting on the issue, and while there are murmurs about their release, it's not at all clear it has happened.

"As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!," Trump tweeted Wednesday night.

That's not the same as saying they would be released today, as Giuliani did. If the prisoners are released and it presages the promised meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, that will be a positive development.

That the first affirmative word of their release came from the President's Russia lawyer and not someone working on North Korea or even national security matters with him will remain very weird.

And it should probably have nothing to do with the Russia investigation.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 445047

Reported Deaths: 5955
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin924911470
Ramsey39703735
Dakota32788331
Anoka30811360
Washington20004225
Stearns17775185
St. Louis13546240
Scott1189996
Wright11548102
Olmsted1035775
Sherburne815765
Carver691436
Clay648478
Rice600166
Kandiyohi552871
Blue Earth538033
Crow Wing479673
Otter Tail453464
Chisago449732
Benton416785
Winona386246
Douglas372466
Nobles366746
Mower362328
Goodhue343657
Polk327756
McLeod323144
Morrison310043
Beltrami308746
Lyon299835
Itasca282643
Becker281738
Isanti281141
Carlton278143
Steele27119
Pine265113
Freeborn241320
Todd230929
Nicollet223336
Brown213734
Mille Lacs212845
Le Sueur208515
Cass206123
Meeker198533
Waseca188816
Martin169126
Wabasha16883
Roseau165316
Hubbard148338
Redwood139227
Renville136539
Houston135313
Dodge13304
Chippewa130832
Cottonwood126518
Fillmore12215
Wadena119416
Rock109512
Sibley10797
Aitkin107133
Watonwan10618
Faribault104615
Pennington97715
Kanabec97218
Pipestone93823
Yellow Medicine93314
Murray8655
Jackson85010
Swift83018
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65616
Lake62915
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59010
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4543
Unassigned43468
Grant4257
Norman4228
Mahnomen4087
Kittson37019
Red Lake3164
Traverse2473
Lake of the Woods1801
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303065

Reported Deaths: 4267
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45335447
Linn17673274
Scott15356163
Black Hawk13648236
Woodbury12945175
Johnson1202149
Dubuque11300149
Pottawattamie8934112
Dallas881171
Story863434
Webster467471
Cerro Gordo462968
Sioux453356
Clinton448361
Warren437538
Marshall425561
Buena Vista391529
Muscatine386177
Des Moines380641
Plymouth348868
Wapello340898
Jasper319658
Lee313530
Marion301752
Jones269649
Henry263230
Carroll253034
Bremer242048
Crawford228122
Boone216217
Washington214231
Benton208544
Jackson190831
Mahaska190736
Tama185657
Dickinson184226
Delaware172236
Kossuth170543
Clay166019
Wright162724
Fayette159522
Buchanan158023
Hamilton157829
Winneshiek154819
Harrison154462
Hardin153929
Cedar151419
Clayton150748
Butler146424
Page143715
Cherokee138127
Floyd137936
Mills136016
Lyon133632
Poweshiek132324
Hancock128824
Allamakee126827
Iowa122822
Calhoun12209
Grundy120026
Jefferson119524
Madison11869
Winnebago118229
Mitchell115634
Louisa114130
Cass112541
Chickasaw110512
Emmet110231
Sac110215
Appanoose109638
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102224
Shelby101326
Franklin101218
Unassigned9210
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82519
Monroe80518
Clarke7817
Pocahontas77211
Ida73830
Greene6887
Davis68721
Adair68620
Lucas6468
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5983
Taylor5919
Fremont5036
Van Buren49412
Decatur4784
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4108
Adams2953
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 22°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 9°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 19°
Austin
Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 18°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 9°
A big temperature swing is on the way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

John Marshall ready for 2021

Image

Is the City of Rochester paying men and women equally?

Image

LWVMN asks for "truth and consequences" for state lawmakers

Image

Sports Overtime Part 2

Image

Sports Overtime Part 1

Image

Plans for polar plunge

Image

Equal work and equal pay.

Image

Aaron's Friday Night Forecast

Image

Mega Millions jackpot soars to $750 million

Image

Increase in 2021 travel plans

Community Events