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Rudy Giuliani releases statement "to clarify" his remarks on Trump

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor now working for President Trump's legal team, released a statement Friday "to clarify the views" he has expressed in recent days. The statement said "there is no campaign violation," an apparent reference to Giuliani's remarks on Wednesday that Mr. Trump had reimbursed his lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment he maid to adult film star Stormy Daniels. 

Mr. Trump claimed to reporters last month that he was unaware of Cohen's financial arrangement with Daniels, but on Thursday said that Cohen had used his monthly retainer to pay her.

"The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President's family," Giuliani's statement continued. "It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not." The distinction matters because if the payment was made to help Trump's candidacy, it could be considered a violation of campaign finance laws.

Giuliani's statement then adds that his "references to timing were not describing my understanding of the President's knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters." 

It goes on to address the firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying that it "is undisputed that the President's dismissal of former Director Comey – an inferior executive officer – was clearly within his Article II power. Recent revelations about former Director Comey further confirm the wisdom of the President's decision, which was plainly in the best interests of our nation." 

Giuliani's press tour this week raised eyebrows among political observers. Over the past few days, Giuliani has claimed that Mr. Trump fired Comey because "among other things" he refused to say that the president was not a target in the Russia probe. 

Giuliani also called Comey a "very perverted man," warned that he would "get on my charger and go right into their offices with a lance" if investigators targeted Ivanka Trump, and repeatedly accused the special counsel's office of acting like "stormtroopers."