Rudy “The Mouth” — Donald “The Honcho” and
Michael “The Fixer”
The question of how long negotiations regarding the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow went on has become one of the central issues in the Russia investigation, because Cohen originally told Congress he had stopped work on the project in January 2016, long before the November presidential elections.
In May 2018, Yahoo News revealed that, in fact, those negotiations had gone on months longer than that. Then in November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about how long he was involved in the proposed Moscow Tower project.
Now Giuliani is saying those talks lasted roughly until Trump was elected president saying in part: “It’s our understanding that they went on throughout 2016. There weren’t a lot of them, but there were conversations. Can’t be sure of the exact dates, but the president can remember having conversations with him about it.”
“Throughout 2016?” the show’s host, Chuck Todd, asked.
Giuliani responded: “Yeah, probably could be up to as far as October, November. Our answers cover until the election. So anytime during that period, they could’ve talked about it. But the president’s recollection of it is that the thing had petered out quite a bit.”
BuzzFeed News published a now contentious story claiming that Trump ordered Cohen to lie about the negotiations on January 17.
Then that next day, Mueller’s office issued a rare public statement on Friday night disputing the BuzzFeed News story from Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office saying:
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.”
Giuliani affirmed that he had to answer questions about the Trump Tower negotiations in written form to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the head of the special counsel probe into Russia’s propaganda campaign.
According to Giuliani, Trump remembers a few conversations and the letter of intent for the real estate project that he signed October 28, 2015 — but not much else adding: “They sent a letter of intent in. They didn’t even know where to send it. They knew so little about it. They finally got it straightened out, and then they abandoned the project.”
Giuliani, who campaigned for Trump, said: “That’s about as much as the president can remember because throughout 2015 and 2016, all of his energy was directed toward his bid for the White House. And I know that. I was with him for about five months. His concentration was 100 percent on running for president.”
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) the top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, appeared on “Meet the Press” right after Giuliani, said: “The revelation that conversations could have continued into November is news to me.”
Warner concluded: “That is big news. Why, two years after the fact, are we just learning this fact now when there’s been this much inquiry?”