Giuliani sticks to foreign policy script, steering clear of Stormy Daniels dustup
Giuliani sought to clarify his claim that Trump reimbursed lawyer for Stormy Daniels' settlement; reaction on 'America's News HQ.'
Rudy Giuliani, the newest member of President Trump’s legal team, on Saturday declined to answers questions about the simmering Stormy Daniels controversy, sticking to foreign policy issues like the Iran nuclear deal. But he also suggested that he'll address the Daniels issue on a Sunday-morning political show.
“I don’t mix my roles,” Giuliani said at the Iran Freedom Convention, in Washington, D.C.
Giuliani, who was also scheduled to appear Saturday night on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” said he thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will release U.S. hostages in the coming days -- ahead of a planned summit between Kim and Trump that is apparently set for spring or early summer. However, Giuliani made clear he has no privileged information on the matter.
“I’m praying like everyone. … The less said about it, the better,” said Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, who called working for Trump “a great honor.”
He also made clear that Trump remains unsupportive of an international deal led by the former Obama administration to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country curtailing its nuclear program.
"What do you think is going to happen to that agreement?" he asked, before pretending to rip a piece of paper.
Trump named Giuliani to his legal team last week, shortly after attorney Ty Cobb announced he was leaving. Within hours, Giuliani found himself embroiled in controversy over his comments on the incendiary topic of Donald Trump and pornographic film star Stormy Daniels.
Giuliani said Trump knew about a $130,000 payment made to Daniels tfor her silence about allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump.
The payment was allegedly made by Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who had said the president didn’t know about the payment. Giuliani also said Trump repaid Cohen, a transaction that’s also been in dispute. (And Trump has denied a tryst with Daniels.)
Trump on Friday suggested Giuliani, hired in an apparent attempt to conclude the special counsel Russia investigation, needed to "get his facts straight" about the payment.
Hours later, Giuliani backed away from his previous assertion that the Oct. 27 settlement had been made because Trump was in the last stretch of his presidential campaign.
"The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family," he said in a statement. "It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not."
Giuliani at first also insisted Trump until recently didn't know the specifics of Cohen's arrangement with Daniels. And he told "Fox & Friends" on Thursday that the president was unaware of all the details until "maybe 10 days ago."
Giuliani told The New York Times that Trump had repaid Cohen $35,000 a month "out of his personal family account" after the campaign was over. He said Cohen received $460,000 or $470,000 in all for expenses related to Trump.
While Giuliani suggested Trump knew something about the payments, even as a monthly retainer, Trump had told reporters on Air Force One last month that he hadn't known about a settlement with Daniels.
Trump's irritation was plain Friday when reporters reminded him of his previous denial. He blasted the media for focusing on "crap" stories such as the Daniels matter and the special counsel's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.