What to Know
- Rudy Giuliani is trying to clarify after saying on CNN Wednesday night that he's "never said there was no collusion" between Trump & Russia
- He says in a phone interview, "I was trying to suggest the limits of what I can possibly know. I have no information that anybody colluded."
- The former NYC mayor also spoke about Michael Cohen's claims he paid to rig polls for Trump and the shutdown
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, now President Trump's lawyer, is trying to clear up earlier comments that seemed to suggest it was possible that other people in the president's campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
On CNN Wednesday night, Giuliani said he's "never said there was no collusion," directly contradicting the position of his own client, who's repeatedly insisted there was no collusion with Russia during his successful White House run. Giuliani himself has described the idea of Russian collusion as "total fake news."
Giuliani said on CNN that even if some on the campaign did something wrong, there's "not a single bit of evidence" tying Trump to a Russian hack of Democratic emails.
But Giuliani scrambled on Thursday to clarify his comments the night before.
"What I was trying to do is suggest -- I was trying to suggest the limits of what I can possibly know," he said in a phone interview with News 4 New York. "I have no information that anybody colluded. Certainly not the president. The president has no information that anybody colluded. I haven't seen any yet."
"But all I can do is represent the president. I'm not representing the campaign, and I haven't interviewed everybody in the campaign," he said.
"I'm certainly not suggesting that anybody did," Giuliani added. "I'm just saying there's no way I can make a generalized statement like that because I haven't interviewed everybody."
On Michael Cohen's claims he was directed by Trump to rig online pollls to boost his name during the campaign: "I don't know why anyone would be trying to falsify a poll," Giuliani said. "I've never heard of that. It's just a meaningless poll."
On the shutdown, and whether Trump is seriously considering declaring a national emergency to move along spending for the border wall: "He was hopeful that they would negotiate," said Giuliani. "I can't speak for the president on this because I'm not involved intimiately in it. Nor should I be. I'm his private lawyer. I can sort of give you my opinion, sort of as a citizen and a political kind-of expert. I think the president is totally justified in declaring a national emergency."
"The situation at the border has been a perennial problem. The fact that it's gone on so long and not been addressed makes it an emergency," he continued. "It has a lot to do with the drugs coming into the country. The vast majority come over that border." (Editor's note: Most illegal drugs, including hard narcotics, come into the U.S. through ports of entry or in the mail from China.)
"I see the emergency as the way out of the problem, which is a totally insecure border. Where you can say that most of the people coming over are people looking for work because they're coming in such large numbers and undetected, it's a perfect avenue for terrorists, drug dealers, MS-13 members, and other gangs, etc. -- the thing that Democrats are closing their eyes to."
"Even Adam Schiff, one of the president's biggest critics on the Democrat side, says [declaring an emergency] would be legal. He doesn't think it would be wise but he thinks it's legal."