Rudy Giuliani is standing by his Friday comment about President Trump blocking the AT&T merger with Time Warner, telling CBS News correspondent Paula Reid the Trump administration is blocking the merger and that he believes President Trump and the Trump administration are one and the same.
Giuliani told CBS News he was making the point that the administration's opposition to the merger shows Mr. Trump was not at all swayed by money his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, received from the company. Cohen, Giuliani confirmed, no longer represents Mr. Trump.
On Friday, Giuliani, Mr. Trump's newest personal lawyer, told HuffPost that Mr. Trump between the two companies, contradicting earlier statements from the White House and Department of Justice that the president was not involved. Giuliani made the remarks after it was revealed AT&T's senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, Bob Quinn, was involved in agreeing to pay longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen a reported $600,00 for what the company described as "insights" into the Trump administration's positions. "Whatever lobbying was done didn't reach the president," Giuliani told HuffPost. "He did drain the swamp ... The president denied the merger. They didn't get the result they wanted."
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders reiterated again in a statement Saturday morning it was the DOJ that denied the merger.
"The Department of Justice denied the merger," Sanders said in a statement provided to CBS News Saturday morning.
Mr. Trump tweeted this Friday night:
This would not be the first time Giuliani has appeared to contradict the White House, posing a challenge for the White House communications staff. Last month, Giuliani told Fox News Sean Hannityfor a $130,000 payment the attorney made to adult film Star Stormy Daniels. Weeks before that aboard Air Force One, Mr. Trump of Cohen's payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Clifford, who alleges she had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump in 2006, is suing Mr. Trump and Cohen over a nondisclosure agreement she claims is invalid because it lacks Mr. Trump's signature.
Giuliani also told CBS News that while the president's legal team has been in touch with special counsel Robert Mueller's team earlier this week, there are no significant developments in that area. Giuliani said he believes Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign can conclude without interviewing Mr. Trump.
Last week, Mr. Trump said he would "love" to be interviewed by Mueller, but only if he's "treated fairly."
"I would love to speak because we've done nothing wrong," Mr. Trump had told reporters.