Trump's new bull in the ring
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Rudy Giuliani is wasting no time as Trump's new lawyer, calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step in on the Michael Cohen case and comparing the investigators to "storm troopers."
Be smart: These story lines are coming together, and a Giuliani-empowered Trump will only get more aggressive.
The Rudy media tour:
- To the Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff: “Anybody who says that I’m exaggerating when I say that this is an out-of-control investigation and they’re acting like storm troopers––give me a break, baby! They prove it every day."
- He also told Woodruff that, "Us lawyers have talked about it, we don’t believe [NBC's wiretap story is] true. We think it’s going to turn out to be untrue because it would be totally illegal."
- To The Hill's Niall Stanage: “I am waiting for the Attorney General to step in, in his role as defender of justice, and put these people under investigation."
The backdrop: NBC News reported today that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phone was wiretapped in the weeks prior to the FBI raid. They later corrected their story on air, noting that federal authorities were “monitoring” Cohen's phone calls but not listening to them as previously reported.
- "At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted," a source told NBC.
Why it matters: Cohen's role in the Stormy Daniels case, which Giuliani shocked Sean Hannity last night by discussing on Fox News, was confirmed in a series of Trump tweets this morning:
"Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are... very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair... despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair. Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction."
P.S. "Giuliani said in an interview with The Washington Post that he discussed the issue with Trump a few days ago and that they agreed that he would reveal details about the reimbursement." [WaPo's Josh Dawsey, Phil Rucker, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker]
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect NBC's on air correction.