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Photos: Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" that President Trump "can remember having conversations" with Michael Cohen about Trump Tower Moscow right up until the election — as late as November 2016.

One big quote: "No. It's our understanding that it, that [talks] went on throughout 2016, not a lot of them, ... but the president can remember having conversations with [Cohen] about it. ... Probably up to, could be up to as far as October, November."

Between the lines: Giuliani’s rounds on Sunday morning TV related to the BuzzFeed report over the weekend that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

  • The report cites "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” 
  • In a rare response, special counsel Robert Mueller's office claimed the story was inaccurate.
  • Giuliani to Chuck Todd: “I can tell you his counsel to Michael Cohen throughout that entire period was, ‘Tell the truth.’ We thought he was telling the truth. I still believe he may have been telling the truth when he testified before Congress."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
Full exchange below

Todd: “Well you just said there, you said the president is not sure when talked ended. You, I'm guessing you had to answer this question in written form by Mr. Mueller. So right, it's your understanding it ended when? In January, as Michael Cohen incorrectly testified to?”

Giuliani: “No. It's our understanding that it, that they went on throughout 2016, not a lot of them, but there were conversations, can't be sure of the exact date, but the president can remember having conversations with him about it. The president also remembers …”

Todd: “Throughout 2016?”

Giuliani: “Yeah. Probably up to, could be up to as far as October, November. Our answers cover until the election. So anytime during that period they could have talked about it, but the president's recollection of it is the thing had petered out quite a bit. 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. And that's about as much as he can remember of it because remember, 2015, 2016, he's running against 16 people for president of the United States. And I know that, I was with him like for five months. All his concentration was 100% on running for president.”

Go deeper: A reckoning for political journalism

Go deeper

Lawmakers reach deal on bipartisan commission to investigate Jan. 6

Speaker Pelosi outside the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House negotiators have reached an agreement on the parameters of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the "facts and circumstances" surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the House Homeland Security Committee announced Friday.

Why it matters: The formation of a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission had been delayed for months, after some Republicans insisted that the scope of the investigation be expanded to include violence by far-left protesters last summer.

Elise Stefanik elected No. 3 House Republican after Liz Cheney ouster

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on May 12. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

House Republicans voted 134-46 in a secret ballot Friday to appoint Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as the chair of the GOP conference, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

Why it matters: Stefanik's appointment underscores how important loyalty to former President Trump remains to the Republican Party.

Retail sales flat in April after huge surge in March

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

April retail sales in the U.S. were unchanged from March, which saw a surge revised up to 10.7%, according to the latest Commerce Department report published Friday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has been entering a period of growing optimism in the wake of the vaccine rollout, falling new COVID-19 cases and deaths, and a slowly recovering labor market. Retail sales were up 51% year-over-year compared to April 2020.