A day after President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter his team is cooperating with the special counsel investigation out of "transparency," his lawyer Rudy Giuliani tamped down the idea of the president himself testifying for fear of being caught in a trap, saying that there is no truth, only "somebody's version" of it.
Giuliani appeared Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" and argued that he doesn't want his client to be "trapped into perjury."
"When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth," he said.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
When pressed by Chuck Todd, Giuliani doubled down, saying, "truth isn't truth." He referenced the accusations that Trump had discussed the investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, with then-FBI director James Comey, who was later fired by the president.
Giuliani continued: "Donald Trump says, 'I didn't talk about Flynn with Comey.' Comey says, 'You did talk about it.' So, tell me what the truth is?"
The former New York City mayor also spoke directly about the New York Times report Trump responded to in his tweets, and he accused special counsel Robert Mueller of leaking the details "illegally" to the Times. He called Mueller "desperate."
He brushed aside the notion that charges could be brought against the president anyway, specifically when it comes to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Trump campaign officials and a Russian government ally. Giuliani said the now-infamous meeting couldn't be used as evidence for collusion because damaging information on Hillary Clinton "was not pursued at all," despite the intention of that meeting being to receive damaging information.
"Any meeting in regards to getting information about your opponent is something any candidate's staff would take," Giuliani added. "The president of the United States wasn't at that meeting, he didn't know about that meeting, he found out about it after. By the time he found out about it, it was nothing. If this is their case for collusion, good luck Mueller."
Meanwhile, Trump continued his attacks on the special counsel investigation on Sunday, again tweeting that there was "no collusion and no obstruction." He said Mueller is "heavily conflicted" in the "Rigged and Disgusting Witch Hunt."
In response to the Times' report that his laywer Don McGahn has been cooperating extensively with the special counsel team, Trump insisted that McGahn isn't "a John Dean type 'RAT,'" making reference to the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon.
Trump's original legal team had encouraged McGahn and other White House officials to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, and McGahn spent hours in interviews. The Times reported that McGahn handed over information both potentially damaging and favorable to the president. However, the Times said, he told investigators that he never saw Trump go beyond his legal authority. The Times reported McGahn and his attorney were worried Trump was setting him up to take the blame for any possible illegal acts.
McGahn's attorney William Burck added in a statement: "President Trump, through counsel, declined to assert any privilege over Mr. McGahn's testimony, so Mr. McGahn answered the Special Counsel team's questions fulsomely and honestly, as any person interviewed by federal investigators must."
Dean was White House counsel for Nixon, a Republican, during the Watergate scandal. He ultimately cooperated with prosecutors and helped bring down the Nixon presidency, though he served a prison term for obstruction of justice.
Dean, a frequent critic of the president, tweeted Saturday night in response to the Times story that, "Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate. Fate is never kind to bunglers and/or botchers! Unlike Nixon, however, Trump won't leave willingly or graciously."
He added Sunday in response to Trump's tweets that he doubts the president has "ANY IDEA what McGahn has told Mueller. Also, Nixon knew I was meeting with prosecutors, b/c I told him. However, he didn't think I would tell them the truth!"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.