Aug 19, 2018

Giuliani says Trump Tower meeting was for Clinton dirt

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that the 2016 Trump Tower meeting was "originally for the purpose of getting information about ... [Hillary] Clinton" during an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Why it matters: Along with Trump's shocking tweet on the subject earlier this month, it marks a huge reversal in the Trump team's narrative about that meeting — as Trump's initial statement said it was primarily about the adoption of Russian children, rather than opposition dirt from a Kremlin-linked lawyer.

More from Giuliani:

  • "That was the original intention of the meeting. It turned out to be a meeting about another subject and it was not pursued at all. And, of course, any meeting with regards to getting information on your opponent is something any candidate’s staff would take. If someone said, I have information about your opponent, you would take that meeting."
  • "All they knew that a woman with a Russian name was going to meet with them, they didn't know she represented the Russian government."

Reality check: Getting opposition information that potentially comes from a foreign government isn't a normal action during a presidential campaign. And the initial email sent to Donald Trump Jr. from Rob Goldstone that set the meeting into motion said it was meant as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Sunday that New York is struggling to maintain medical supplies while combatting the novel coronavirus — operating "literally" on a "day-to-day" basis.

Why it matters: New York City has become an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, facing mass quarantines and stay-at-home orders. Cuomo said Saturday that New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths.

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's comments about the federal government's stockpile of medical equipment suggest he "does not understand the word 'federal.'"

Why it matters: White House adviser Jared Kushner argued at a press briefing last week that the "notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use."