Trump Rages on Mueller Following New York Times Report, Giuliani Defines 'Truth Isn't Truth' - NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Trump Rages on Mueller Following New York Times Report, Giuliani Defines 'Truth Isn't Truth'

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Under the Tucson Sun
    Getty Images
    President Trump (L) and Robert Mueller (R)

    President Donald Trump on Monday railed against special counsel Robert Mueller in a second day of angry tweets that drew comparisons to Watergate, insisted his general counsel isn't a "RAT" like President Richard Nixon's and accused Mueller's team of "looking for trouble."

    "If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!" he tweeted.

    Also Monday, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani took to Twitter to clarify his viral comments on "Meet the Press" from a day earlier when he said that "truth isn't truth." He said he was referring to "a situation where two people make precisely contradictory statements." Critics had jumped on the comments as the the latest "alternative facts" explanation in the Trump era to justify falsehoods.  

    Trump's latest rant follows a New York Times report that the White House general counsel, Don McGahn, has been cooperating extensively with the special counsel team investigating Russian election meddling and potential collusion with Trump's Republican campaign.

    Trump Discusses New US Missile Defense Strategy

    [NATL] Trump Discusses New US Missile Defense Strategy

    President Donald Trump discussed his plans for a revamped missile defense strategy during a speech at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday.

    (Published 4 hours ago)

    In a tweet Sunday, he contrasted McGahn with John Dean, the White House counsel for Nixon during the Watergate scandal. Dean ultimately cooperated with prosecutors and helped bring down the Nixon presidency in 1974, though he served a prison term for obstruction of justice.

    "The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type 'RAT,'" Trump wrote Sunday, misspelling "counsel."

    "But I allowed him and all others to testify - I didn't have to. I have nothing to hide ..." he wrote.

    On Monday he called Mueller "disgraced and discredited."

    "Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone looking for trouble," he wrote. "They are enjoying ruining people's lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side - the lies, the firings, the deleted Emails and soooo much more!"

    Dean, Nixon's White House counsel and a frequent critic of Trump, tweeted Sunday 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!"

    Shutdown Relief: Easing the Burden

    [NATL] Shutdown Relief: Easing the Burden

    As the government shutdown drags on, companies, restaurants and service providers across the country are coming up with ways to help the estimated 800,000 Americans not getting paid. NBC's Dan Scheneman reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    Trump's original legal team had encouraged McGahn and other White House officials to cooperate with Mueller, and McGahn spent hours in interviews.

    Trump attorney Giuliani said in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Trump didn't raise executive privilege or attorney-client privilege during those interviews because his team believed — he says now, wrongly — that fully participating would be the fastest way to bring the investigation to a close.

    "The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did, is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president," Giuliani said.

    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."

    Trump also assailed the Mueller investigation Sunday.

    "So many lives have been ruined over nothing - McCarthyism at its WORST!" Trump tweeted, referring to the indiscriminate and damaging allegations made by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s to expose communists.

    US Troops on Patrol Killed in Blast in Syria

    [NATL] US Troops on Patrol Killed in Blast in Syria

    American troops were killed Wednesday during a patrol in the Northern Syrian town of Manbij, according to the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. It wasn’t immediately clear how many. The attack comes after the U.S. began the process of withdrawing from Syria.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    "Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!" Trump later wrote.

    Giuliani, in his interview, also acknowledged that the reason for the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer, arranged by Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., was that they had been promised dirt on Trump's 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

    "The meeting was originally for the purpose of getting information about Clinton," he said, adding that the Trump team didn't know that Natalia Veselnitskaya was Russian — even though emails later released by Trump Jr. show that she had been described as a "Russian government attorney."

    Giuliani also tried to make the case that having Trump sit down for an interview with Mueller's team wouldn't accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses' recollections.

    "It's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth," he said, telling NBC: "Truth isn't truth."

    Among those who seized on that comment was fired FBI Director James Comey, who tweeted that "truth exists and truth matters." 

    Steve King Faces Congressional Backlash Over Racist Remark

    [NATL] Rep. Steve King Faces Backlash From Congress Over Racist Remarks

    In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, members of the U.S. House condemned Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his comments on white nationalism and white supremacy. Even leaders of King's own party are pressuring him to resign.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    "Truth has always been the touchstone of our country’s justice system and political life," he wrote. "People who lie are held accountable. If we are untethered to truth, our justice system cannot function and a society based on the rule of law dissolves." 

    Giuliani slammed Comey on Twitter Monday as "the last person who should pontificate on truth." 

    But Giuliani still issued a clarification on Monday for his "truth isn't truth" comment, tweeting: "My statement was not meant as a pontification on moral theology but one referring to the situation where two people make precisely contradictory statements, the classic 'he said, she said' puzzle. Sometimes further inquiry can reveal the truth other times it doesn’t."