Giuliani says Mueller's team told him a sitting president cannot be indicted

Trump financial disclosure released

President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani says special counsel Robert Mueller believes he cannot indict a sitting president, as Mueller's team probes Russian election meddling and any ties to Mr. Trump's associates. 

The president's personal attorney told CBS News correspondent Paula Reid that Giuliani suggested to Mueller a sitting president cannot be indicted, and Mueller expressed his uncertainty over that claim. But Mueller's assistant subsequently followed up with Giuliani and told him the special counsel is bound by a Department of Justice memo saying a sitting president cannot be indicted, according to Giuliani.  

The special counsel's office declined to comment on Giuliani's remarks.

Giuliani also said he told Fox News earlier this month Mr. Trump repaid Michael Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in order to get in front of the story. The reimbursement was confirmed in a footnote of Mr. Trump's financial disclosure form released Wednesday.

"We figured it would come out at some point, lets get it out earlier," the former New York mayor told Reid.

Giuliani's claim seemed to contradict an earlier statement Mr. Trump made aboard Air Force One, when he told reporters he was unaware of Cohen's payment to the adult film star. Asked how to reconcile Mr. Trump's statement aboard Air Force One denying knowledge of the payment with Wednesday's disclosure, Giuliani said the "president just didn't remember, he didn't have all the documents in front of him."  

Reid pressed Giuliani how it was possible for Mr. Trump to forget payment for the silence of a porn star who alleges a sexual relationship with Mr. Trump.

"This was not a serious lawsuit," Giuliani responded. "You don't settle a serious lawsuit for $130,000. He saw it as a Cohen expense, not a campaign expense."

Giuliani also commented on a letter the acting head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Wednesday regarding Mr. Trump's 2017 financial disclosure form, which did not mention any liability regarding Cohen. David Apol, the acting director of OGE, told Rosenstein that, "based on the information provided as a note ... the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported as a liability." Apol wrote to Rosenstein and provided him with those financial disclosure reports, "because you may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing regarding the president's prior report."

Giuliani suggested OGE sent the letter to cover its back in a high-profile matter.

"If it was a criminal referral it would have been called a criminal referral," the president's lawyer said.

The OGE, however, is not suggesting it should be interpreted as a criminal referral.

Clare Hymes and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.