Rudy Giuliani's truly remarkable answer on Donald Trump's lying

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spent his Sunday "defending" Donald Trump and "advocating" for the ...

Posted: Dec 18, 2018 2:47 AM
Updated: Dec 18, 2018 2:47 AM

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spent his Sunday "defending" Donald Trump and "advocating" for the President's innocence as it relates to the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

He did an extremely poor job of it -- creating any number of problematic storylines for the President, including an acknowledgment that Trump's team had conversations with Russians about a business venture in Moscow far longer into the 2016 election than had been previously known.

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

Rudy Giuliani

2016 Presidential election

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Europe

Government and public administration

Investigations

Political candidates

Politics

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

US Federal elections

US Presidential elections

Michael Cohen

Misc people

Government bodies and offices

US federal government

White House

But this exchange -- between Giuliani and ABC's George Stephanopoulos -- really took the cake for me. It begins with Giuliani bashing former Trump lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen, who is now a cooperating witness in the probe, as a liar:

GIULIANI: "And the Southern District says you can get out of jail if you do this, you've got three years now. There's a real motivation to sing like crazy. He's got to do a lot of singing to get out of the three years and he will say whatever he has to say. He's changed his story four or five times."

STEPHANOPOULOS: "So has the President."

GIULIANI: "The President's not under oath. And the President tried to do the best he can to remember what happened back at a time when he was the busiest man in the world."

This doesn't work on so many levels.

Let's start with the fact that Giuliani is admitting that Trump lied. Repeatedly. And that it's all OK because he wasn't under oath. Uh, what? This is the President of the United States we are talking about. Making a legalistic argument -- he didn't lie when there was a criminal penalty for doing so! -- isn't exactly a good pushback on the idea that Trump has a problem telling the truth.

Think of it this way: Giuliani is, in essence, arguing that Trump's lies don't matter because he didn't say them under oath. And that, presumably, if/when he was under oath, Trump would tell the truth -- and that truth would be different than all of the false things he has said publicly.

Which is, um, a remarkable thing.

Then there's this: Wouldn't Cohen be incentivized to tell the truth given that he has been under oath -- several times -- in this process? Isn't the threat of a more severe criminal punishment a likely disincentive for Cohen to lie? And isn't it also true that Trump doesn't have that same disincentive to lie? Lying to the media or your supporters might carry some sort of political penalty. But it doesn't hold any legal penalty. Trump can say almost anything, as long as he isn't under oath, and get away with it.

Again, take it out of the Trump, and even politics, context. Pretend your life depends, literally, on someone answering a single question truthfully. Would you rather have that person be under oath when giving you their answer or no? Obviously, you would prefer the under-oath version because, well, actions having consequences tends to bring out the truth.

And last but certainly not least is Giuliani's explanation for why Trump has not told the truth so many times. He did "the best he can to remember what happened back at a time when he was the busiest man in the world." So because Trump was running for the nation's highest office, he can't possibly be expected to remember -- or recollect truthfully -- what happened during the campaign? Because he was super busy?!

But Giuliani is asking for even more than that. He's saying that not only should no one blame Trump for, uh, misremembering events surrounding, among other things, payoffs to two women alleging they had affairs with him, but also that the conclusions reached by federal prosecutors that Trump directed and coordinated these payments should be discounted.

Remember: This is not, despite what Giuliani is trying to do, ultimately a he-said, he-said battle between Trump and Cohen. Yes, Cohen said, under oath, that Trump directed and coordinated the payouts. But the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York didn't just take his word for it! They knew -- like we know -- that Cohen has a history of not telling the truth. They corroborated his charges and found them to be accurate. So this is about a federal prosecutor vs. the President. Not Michael Cohen.

Like I said: There's a lot wrong with what Giuliani told Stephanopoulos. A lot.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 89°
Mason City
Few Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Albert Lea
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Austin
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Charles City
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Hot and sticky fourth of July weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Alternative baseball hopes to come to the Med City in 2021

Image

FOURTH OF JULY IN AUSTIN AND STEWARTVILLE

Image

Seans 6pm Weather 7/4

Image

Fans excited for Honkers return

Image

Honkers fall to St. Cloud in home opener

Image

Baseball returns to the Med City

Image

Seans 10pm Weather 7/3

Image

Leaders advocate for the homeless

Image

Fireworks Show During the Pandemic

Image

Pillars of the City Unveiled

Community Events