Friday, May 04, 2018
Looks like Rudy's about to be Mooched
President Donald Trump told reporters Friday morning that his new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, knows that the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.”
Talking Points Memo:
“He started yesterday. He’ll get his facts straight. He’s a great guy. But what he does is he feels it’s a very bad thing for our country, and he happens to be right.”
During a series of interviews this week, Giuliani said that Trump paid back his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for a hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who has claimed that she had an affair with Trump about a decade ago.
Before boarding Air Force One to travel to the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas, Trump addressed the Giuliani situation once again.
“I will tell you this, I will tell you this, when Rudy made the statement, Rudy’s great, but Rudy had just started, and he wasn’t totally familiar with everything. And Rudy, we love Rudy, he’s a special guy. What he really understands is that this is a witch hunt. He understands that probably better than anybody.”
Here's the transcript of his remarks at the airport:
Q Mr. President, how’s Rudy doing?
Q When did you find out?
THE PRESIDENT: I tell you what — Rudy is a great guy, but he just started a day ago. But he really has his heart into it. He’s working hard. He’s learning the subject matter. And he’s going to be issuing a statement too. But he is a great guy. He knows it’s a witch hunt. That’s what he knows. He’s seen a lot of them. And he said he’s never seen anything so horrible.
As an example, 33,000 emails requested by Congress with a subpoena, and they get burned, they get deleted. And nobody says anything. Give me a break.
So Rudy knows it’s a witch hunt. He started yesterday. He’ll get his facts straight. He’s a great guy. But what he does is he feels it’s a very bad thing for our country, and he happens to be right.
Q When did you find out what the retainer was being spent on?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you’re going to find out, because we’re going to give a full list. And people know. And virtually everything said has been said incorrectly, and it’s been said wrong, or it’s been covered wrong by the press — just like NBC and ABC yesterday covered the story wrong.
But you’ll be finding out. It’s very — it’s actually —
Q Mr. President, are you —
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. It’s actually very simple. It’s actually very simple. But there has been a lot of misinformation, really. People wanting to say — and I say, you know what, learn before you speak. It’s a lot easier.
Q Mr. President, when are these Americans going to be released from North Korea?
THE PRESIDENT: We’re having very substantive talks with North Korea. And a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages. And I think you’re going to see very good things. As I said yesterday, stayed tuned. I think you’re going to be seeing very, very good things.
And also, the trip is being scheduled. We now have a date and we have a location. We’ll be announcing it soon.
Q Mr. President, have you changed your mind at all about being willing to sit with Robert Mueller?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the problem with sitting is this: You have a group of investigators, and they say that I am not a target. And I’m not a target. But you have a group of investigators that are all Democrats. In some cases, they went to the Hillary Clinton celebration that turned out to be a funeral. So you have all these investigators; they’re Democrats. In all fairness, Bob Mueller worked for Obama for eight years.
If you look at the statements that were made, if you take a look, as an example, at the Rod Rosenstein letter to me, prior to the firing of James Comey, just read it; put it in the air. Your viewers don’t know about it. Put that letter on the air. It very much speaks very loudly, and that’s just one thing.
So I would say this: If I could be — I would love to speak. I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me — in fact, against my lawyers, because most lawyers, they never speak on anything. I would love to speak, because we’ve done nothing wrong. There was no collusion with the Russians. There was nothing. There was no obstruction.
You know, very funny — if you fight back, because you people say something wrong, or they say something wrong, or they leak, which they’ve been doing; if you fight back, they say, oh, that’s obstruction of justice. If somebody says something wrong, and you fight back, they say that’s obstruction of justice. It’s nonsense.
So let me just —
Q Are you —
THE PRESIDENT: Wait, wait. Let me just tell you. So I would love to speak. I would love to go. Nothing I want to do more, because we did nothing wrong. We ran a great campaign. We won easily. We won that easily: 306 to — I think, it was 223. We won it easily. That was a great victory. That was a great day for this country.
We just had new jobs numbers out. You saw we broke 4 — 3.9 percent. I would love to go. I would love to speak. But I have to find that we’re going to be fairly.
Q Are you sure —
THE PRESIDENT: Wait, wait. I have to find that we’re going to be treated fairly, because everybody sees it now, and it is a pure witch hunt. Right now, it’s a pure witch hunt. Why don’t we have Republicans looking also? Why aren’t we having Republican people doing what all these Democrats are doing? It is a very unfair thing. If I thought it was fair, I would override my lawyer.
Q (Inaudible) the jobs report today?
THE PRESIDENT: I thought the jobs report was very good. The big thing to me was cracking four. That hasn’t been done in a long time; you’ll tell me how long. But it hasn’t been done in a long time. We’ll full employment. We’re doing great. The stock market is doing — I guess it’s up 35 percent since the election.
And now I think, really, they’re waiting to see what’s going to happen on trade, because we’re going to have some incredible trade deals announced. My people are coming back right now from China, and we will be doing something, one way or the other, with respect to what’s happening in China.
And let me say this: I have great respect for President Xi. That’s why we’re being so nice. And we have a great relationship. But we have to bring fairness into trade between the U.S. and China. And we’ll do it.
Here's the other one:
THE PRESIDENT: I want to just tell you something. General Kelly is doing a fantastic job. There has been such false reporting about our relationship. We have a great relationship. He’s doing a great job as Chief of Staff. I could not be more happy. So I just want to tell you that.
The New York Times has falsely reported. They’ve said things that are absolutely false. So I just want to tell you that. And, General, you may have something —
GENERAL KELLY: Well, I would just say it’s an absolute privilege to work for a President that has gotten the economy going. We’re about to have a breakthrough, I believe, on North Korea. The jobs report today. I mean, everything is going phenomenally well. Attacking the opioid crisis. It’s nothing less than brilliant what’s been accomplished in 15 months, I believe.
Q Mr. President, why did you change your story on Stormy Daniels?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not changing any stories. All I’m telling you is that this country is right now running so smooth. And to be bringing up that kind of crap, and to be bringing up witch hunts all the time — that’s all you want to talk about. You’re going to see —
Q But you said —
THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me —
Q — on Air Force One that you did not know (inaudible).
THE PRESIDENT: No, but you have to — excuse me. You take a look at what I said. You go back and take a look. You’ll see what I said.
Q You said, “No,” when I asked you, “Did you know about the payment?”
THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, you go take a look at what we said. But this is a witch hunt like nobody has ever seen before. And what they should do is look at the other side, where terribly bad things have happened, where terribly bad things have been done.
But what I do want you to do is look at our economy. Today, we broke 4 percent; 3.9 percent we hit today for the first time in many, many years. We’re really proud of it, and we’ll talk to you folks later. But I will tell you — I will tell you this, I will tell you this: When Rudy made the statement — Rudy is great — but Rudy had just started, and he wasn’t totally familiar with every — you know, with everything. And Rudy — we love Rudy, he’s a special guy. What he really understands is that this is a witch hunt. He understands that probably better than anybody.
Q When did you know —
THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. But Rudy — Rudy understands this better than anybody. But when he made a certain statement — he just started yesterday. So that’s it.
So bottom line is — bottom line is: I want to talk to the people in charge, if they can prove that it’s a fair situation. The problem we have is that you have 13 people — they’re are all Democrats, and they’re real Democrats; they’re angry Democrats. And that’s not a fair situation.
Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDENT: We have a chance of bringing — we have a chance — we’re doing very well with the hostages. We’re in constant contact with the leadership. We are in constant contact with North Korea. We’ve actually worked out a time and a place which will be announced shortly and very soon.
THE PRESIDENT: I figured you would ask that question.
THE PRESIDENT: But — wait a minute —
Q (Inaudible) or South Korea, are they on the table?
THE PRESIDENT: Not really. Not at this moment, certainly not.
Q You’re not planning to withdraw (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT: No. No. And we haven’t been asked to. Now, I have to tell you, at some point into the future, I would like to save the money. You know, we have 32,000 troops there. But I think a lot of great things will happen. But troops are not on the table. Absolutely.
Thank you very much.
Oh god. I'm going to have to start drinking early today, I can tell.
digby 5/04/2018 11:00:00 AM