Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that President Donald Trump never discussed former national security adviser Michael Flynn in February 2017 with then-FBI Director James Comey, contradicting past statements he’s made about the exchange.
“There was no conversation about Michael Flynn,” Giuliani, an attorney for the president, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.
Giuliani suggested Trump “didn’t find out that Comey believed” there was a Flynn discussion until May 2017, when The New York Times reported on memos penned by Comey.
But Giuliani’s denial of the Flynn discussion appears in stark contrast to comments he’s made during past media appearances. On July 8, he told ABC’s “This Week” that Trump had asked Comey to give Flynn “a break” during a February 2017 meeting in the Oval Office.
At the time, Comey had been investigating whether Flynn had made false statements under oath about conversations he had with Russian officials. Trump later fired Comey in early May, citing the FBI’s director handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. He has since acknowledged that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which special counsel Robert Mueller took over, played a role in Comey’s dismissal.
Watch Giuliani on ABC’s “This Week” on July 8 discussing the alleged Flynn conversation between Trump and Comey, around the 7:30 mark:
When Tapper asked Giuliani on Sunday to explain his shifting statements on the Trump-Comey conversation, the president’s attorney claimed he had always denied the conversation ever happened.
“You told ABC News last month that the president told Comey, “Can you give him a break?” Tapper told Giuliani.
“I never told ABC that,” Giuliani said. “That’s crazy. Never said that. I said that is what Comey is saying Trump said. I have always said the president denies it.”
Giuliani added that Trump will testify that the conversation never took place if asked as part of Mueller’s investigation, which is also reportedly looking into whether Trump obstructed justice.
But Giuliani’s interview with ABC wasn’t the only time he appeared to confirm the Flynn conversation. He told Fox News on July 30 that Trump had asked Comey to “exercise his prosecutorial discretion” when it came to Flynn.
“The obstruction thing is crazy,” Giuliani said in that interview. “He had a right to fire Comey. That’s what it’s all about. He had a right to say to Comey, ‘Give Flynn a break.’ There’s no investigation at the time. And not only that, he didn’t tell him, ‘Don’t investigate him, don’t prosecute him’ ― he asked him to exercise his prosecutorial discretion because he was a good man with a great war record.”
Watch Giuliani on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on July 30 discussing the alleged Flynn conversation, around the 4:45 mark:
Giuliani’s rambling TV interviews have become common practice since he joined Trump’s legal team in April. His media appearances often contradict previous statements he’s made about Mueller’s investigation or further muddy its timeline.
Last month, he stunned Fox News hosts by denying Trump had attended Russia-related meetings at Trump Tower, even though no media report claimed he had.