Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that President Donald Trump will not issue pardons on behalf of his associates in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, noting that Trump could always hand out pardons after the investigation ends instead.
Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who earlier served as the high-profile US attorney for the Southern District of New York, has been playing "offense" on Trump's behalf, as he describes his role, attacking not only the tactics but also the very justification of the Mueller-led investigation. "You probably have a higher burden if you're involved in this investigation as compared to the others who get pardons, but you're certainly not excluded from it, if in fact the President and his advisers - not me - come to the conclusion that you've been treated unfairly".
Giuliani responded equally directly, and covered more ground than just Manafort. "I don't know, but I want to find out before I go forward", Giuliani said when pressed about Strzok.
The report suggests that text from Peter Strzok, who was later dropped from Mr Mueller's team, "implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate's electoral prospects".
But, he added, "When it's over, hey, he's the president of the United States". He retains his pardon power.
He will be confined to jail until his trial in September. Trump expressed his sympathy for Manafort tweeting, "Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns".
Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.
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"There was no Russian Collusion".
Giuliani added that he thought certain Federal Bureau of Investigation officials should be fired for "taking bribes" from journalists in exchange for information - though he acknowledged that there is nothing in the inspector general's report that accuses Federal Bureau of Investigation agents of taking bribes. "I did nothing wrong, there was no obstruction". The text messages, which prompted his removal from special counsel Robert Mueller's team past year, have been Exhibit A in the case Trump and his conservative allies have made that Mueller's probe is biased against Trump. Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has echoed Stone's sentiment, repeatedly asserting today that there should be an investigation into Mueller's probe. "Double Standard!" His reference to "Crooked Hillary" is his oft-repeated pejorative for his 2016 challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump's lawyers have been in negotiations with Mueller's team since the end of a year ago over terms of an interview.
"It's crying out for someone to investigate the investigators", Giuliani said.
"No he will not do it, based on my advice and all our team", Giuliani told the reporter, via text message. Giuliani said he is opposed to having an interview but "the president wants to do it so we have to sort through it".
The former mayor said a decision on a possible interview would likely be made by July 4.