Transcript: Rudy Giuliani on "Face the Nation," July 29, 2018

Giuliani outlines potential deal with Mueller

The following is a transcript of the interview with Rudy Giuliani that aired Sunday, July 29, 2018, on "Face the Nation."  


MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning and welcome to "Face the Nation." We begin today with President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani who is in our New York broadcast studio this morning. Mr. Mayor, thank you for joining us. The president--

RUDY GIULIANI: Thank you, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: told CBS News earlier this month he still wants to speak to special counsel Robert Mueller. So when? Where? What format?

RUDY GIULIANI: Well you know we would kind of be distracted on all kinds of things starting with Peter Strzok and the Horowitz report. And now Michael Cohen really surprising all of us and taping-

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is that what's holding up your negotiations?

RUDY GIULIANI: Well it keeps us away from it and- and also the-the special counsel is kind of tied up. Although quietly when the Manafort- getting ready for the Manafort trial. So we have negotiations going on with them. We have an outstanding offer to them. They haven't responded in about a week to 10 days. I don't hold that against them I think they've got a lot going on like we do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What does that offer look like?

RUDY GIULIANI: Well I can't tell you- I can't tell you what the offer looks like except there is a, sort of area of questioning and a group of restrictions on it that, we- we could live with. I think. I'd have to reanalyze that in light of the new facts but I don't think that's going to change it very much.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is narrow to the Russia probe? And not obstruction of justice? How narrow?

RUDY GIULIANI: It relates basically to the- to the Russia collusion thing, which we think there's no evidence of the president doing anything wrong. So we don't really have much of a problem with it. With the obstruction, thing it's more a question of we don't see the legal basis for a president obstructing by merely taking an action in firing somebody that he had every right to fire. And about ten good reasons to fire. So we don't just acknowledge though the basis for that. But, you know, we might consider a few questions in that area also. But at this point it's best left to us and them to do that quietly. There's enough going on with the Southern District thing to keep people busy.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When are we going to find out? When are you going to nail this down?

RUDY GIULIANI: I think a couple. I mean- maybe this week. Maybe next week. It's-

MARGARET BRENNAN: Last time you told us it was July 4th, Mr. Mayor.

RUDY GIULIANI: Well a lot happened since July 4th.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's true.

RUDY GIULIANI:  Peter Strzok. Our friend Cohen going rogue. I mean lots of things.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The New York Times is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the president's treats- tweets I should say, added up to any kind of obstruction of justice here. Have you advised the president not to tweet- at least not to tweet about his attorney general?

RUDY GIULIANI: Good luck about tweeting. First of all, you know. Obstruction by tweet is not something that I think works real well. Generally, obstruction is secret. It's clandestine. It's corrupt. You don't want the evidence out in the public. So it could be used against you. And I've looked at all those tweets and they don't amount to anything but the man complaining about an unfair investigation which even if it wasn't the president, he has a First Amendment right to do that. I don't think there's anything there that gets them beyond the First Amendment and second a lot of his tweets have been very helpful. The reason he may not have to testify is he's laid out his defense. Clearly, like this whole Russian thing, he's made it clear he didn't know about the meeting beforehand-

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're talking about the Trump Tower meeting that Michael Cohen apparently says--

RUDY GIULIANI: He made it clear and no-

MARGARET BRENNAN: --the president knew in advance about.

RUDY GIULIANI: Yeah, well, I mean. I don't see how you can believe Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen is also the guy that taped him without telling him. Taped Chris Cuomo. Taking his cell phone and putting it in a draw and saying I'm not recording it and then did a two hour recording that we now have. He did that at least four other times. To my surprise he turns out to be almost an instinctual liar. So there's no way this guy's credibility is going to withstand four or five witnesses saying the exact opposite.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You called him an honest, honorable lawyer just a few weeks ago. What changed?

GIULIANI: How did I know? Why would I have not thought he was? I mean- never had a bad dealing with Michael. I was being- I was being straight and honest. I didn't know that he taped conversations surreptitiously. I didn't know he would grossly violate the attorney-client privilege. I didn't know he would mislead dozens of reporters and tape them all over the place, and pretend to them directly, 'I'm not recording you.'

MARGARET BRENNAN: How much of the evidence that the--

GIULIANI: And I- I didn't know that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --how much of the evidence that the FBI seized from Michael Cohen's- you know, place of work and residence relates to the president, beyond tapes?

GIULIANI: Well let me see if I can-  I can make it about as clear as possible. We know of something like 183 unique conversations on tape. One of those is with the president of the United States. That's the three-minute one involving- involving the McDougal payment- AMI-McDougal payment. There are 12 others, maybe 11 or 12 others out of the 183, in which the president is discussed at any length by Cohen, mostly with reporters. All clearly corroborating what the president has said in detail on many of those tweets. In other words, that he didn't know about the payments to either one when it happened; that he only found out later; that Cohen made them not for the campaign- he didn't- didn't like the campaign, he says very derogatory things about the campaign. Said 'I only made it because I personally love the president and Melania. And that's why I made the payments,' which takes it right out of the campaign contribution arsenal. So these- these are tapes I want you to read. I want you to hear them. I didn't think I'd be able to get them out publicly. And somehow, he and his lawyer have this crazy idea of just throw it all out there. I think they also don't realize it's going to hurt them with the prosecutors. When I was a prosecutor I don't want some guy giving out all the evidence to the press.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you do want these tapes released now.

GIULIANI: I can't do it. I mean I'm not allowed to do it. We've not leaked a single tape. I think if you check with the reporters who did the stories they'd tell you that. The Times came forward and made that clear. We don't violate these rules. However, we are allowed to refer to them if they put them out. Why they're putting them out? Someday, somebody is going to have to figure it out. But, they're doing it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You mentioned Karen McDougal this recording that was made public earlier this week relates to her she claims she did have a consensual affair with the president. But I want to ask you beyond this case- beyond Stormy Daniels were other payments made to as yet unnamed women around the time of the 2016 campaign?

GIULIANI: There is there is a conversation about that. On one of the tapes in which I think Chris Cuomo asked him that. And Cohen says no. Denies it. Said that there were no other situations like this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Was that an accurate statement by Cohen?

GIULIANI: As far as I know, yeah.  I have no evidence to disprove that. And we've searched the records. I mean -remember both these payments were made or at least to the McDougal payment was going to made through a corporation. Well you're hardly going to make an illegal contribution through a corporation and that whole dispute about check or cash really couldn't have been done any other way. But-but by check. It's a corporation, after all, making the payment.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But, you maintain that payment didn't actually-occur.

GIULIANI: That one didn't happen for reasons I guess that AMI wanted to  keep it, they probably saw a value in keeping it. I mean, I know a lot of people raised questions about it but it's pretty clear from the tape. This is a straight out and out legal and business transaction.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The CFO for the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, was subpoenaed this week to testify in the criminal probe around Michael Cohen. Does any of this cross that red line that the president has said in terms of touching his own personal finances?

GIULIANI:  No, I think these are about- I think these are about the things we're talking about to see are they corroborated and they are or they could be about other things that they may have some knowledge of that Cohen was doing. Independent of the President. I should finish that discussion of the tapes by telling you that yes there are 183, president's on one, mentioned on 12 others. There are then an untold number of other tapes. That do have no relation to us. Meaning President Trump. That have to do I guess what the Southern District originally raided him for.

Those tapes, I don't know what's on those nor now if they related it to us the government would have to give it to us. The government has been totally ethical about this. So, I don't believe there's any question, but there's a lot there for them to investigate. And you know when you just look at a box you can't tell what it contains but I sure wouldn't want to have that box there in the FBI has possession of it with me.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Mr. Mayor. There's always another part to this story. We'll continue to track it here.

GIULIANI: It always changes. Every time I talk to you it changes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well we look forward to having you on again.