Rudy Giuliani put it all out on the table this week. And now, after days of confusion and speculation that he may have exposed President Donald Trump to new legal jeopardy, he’s gathering it all back in.
In remarks to the media Friday, Trump contradicted statements the former New York City mayor made earlier in the week regarding a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election.
“He just started yesterday,” Trump said of Giuliani, who started as the lead attorney regarding issues related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in late April. “He’ll get his facts straight.”
On Wednesday, Giuliani made waves when he told Fox News the president had in fact repaid his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for the funds. Trump had previously denied all knowledge of the payment.
As of Friday, though, Trump’s explanation is apparently that Giuliani didn’t know what he was talking about.
“When Rudy made the statements ― he’s great ― but Rudy had just started and he wasn’t totally familiar with everything,” Trump said. “And Rudy ― we love Rudy ― he’s a special guy. What he really understands is this is a witch hunt.”
“But when he made certain statements, he just started yesterday,” the president went on. “So that’s it.”
“It’s actually very simple,“ Trump added. “I say, you know what, learn before you speak. It’s a lot easier.”
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Giuliani capitulated to the President’s version of the Daniels payment.
“First: There is no campaign violation,” he said. “The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President’s family. It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.
“Second: My references to timing were not describing my understanding of the President’s knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.”
Watch excerpts from the president’s remarks below:
This story has been updated with Giuliani’s statement.