Rudy Giuliani downplays Robert Mueller investigation: ‘Collusion is not a crime’

Rudy Giuliani downplays Robert Mueller investigation: ‘Collusion is not a crime’

U.S. President Donald Trump denied Tuesday there was any "collusion" between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, and declared that "collusion is not a crime" anyway.

Trump's bold proclamation that collusion is not a crime-which is correct in an entirely semantic sense, but doesn't mean actions undertaken by the campaign weren't illegal-shifts the president's argument tremendously.

The President has repeatedly denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and he told The New York Times in December that "collusion is not a crime". "The hacking is the crime. The president didn't hack", Giuliani said on CNN.

The meeting has become a central focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether anyone within Trump's campaign colluded with Russia's meddling in the last U.S. presidential election.

Trump didn't say what those conflicts were, but he said he turned down Mueller to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a second time before Mueller was appointed special counsel, and that James Comey, whom Trump fired as Federal Bureau of Investigation chief, is Mueller's "close friend".

"When I said today that there was no collusion and that collusion also is no crime, I've been saying that from the very beginning", he said, reacting to new reports that he was attempting to change the narrative.

THE FACTS: It is correct to say that election collusion isn't a precise legal term.

Giuliani continued that line of defense on CNN.

Specifically, Waas writes that a "a confidential White House memorandum" written shortly before Trump made his request to Comey indicates that then-chief of staff Reince Priebus and White House counsel Don McGahn both directly told the president that Flynn was under criminal investigation. "This is a theater of the absurd", Giuliani said.

Mueller, 14 months into his probe, has secured guilty pleas from a handful of Trump aides for lying to investigators about their links to Russia and indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officials for allegedly hacking into the computers of Democratic officials supporting Clinton and releasing their emails through WikiLeaks.

"Right now I'm telling him 'no way, '" he said, asking why Trump would testify in an investigation that has "no legitimacy".

But there are plenty of specific laws on the books that could apply if Trump's presidential campaign is found to have collaborated with Moscow, including a conspiracy to defraud the United States.

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