EXCLUSIVE: On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Laura Ingraham devoted two lengthy segments of her nightly Fox News program The Ingraham Angle to an in-studio interview with President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and mayor of New York City.
It was another newsmaking interview, as Giuliani discussed the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the potential White House response to a possible subpoena from Mueller, and other issues relating to the ongoing investigation.
Shortly after the broadcast, Fox News provided a transcript of the complete interview.
Peter Barry Chowka
LAURA INGRAHAM, FNC HOST: We’re joined now by former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and now counsel to the Trump Team. Mayor, how are you?
RUDY GUILIANI, COUNSEL TO DONALD TRUMP: Glad to be with you, Laura, always.
INGRAHAM: So you made a lot of news last time you were on this network, on the — let me see, what was the issue? Reimbursement of payments to Michael Cohen for the Stormy Daniels settlement.
Now we find out in a disclosure form that, indeed, the president did disclose that. Was this done a couple weeks back on the network because you knew this was coming out?
GUILIANI: Sure, absolutely, and the president was fully aware of it, and the president endorsed the strategy. We wouldn’t do it without him. He’s the client, after all, and has tremendous judgment about things like this.
And I think it — that the OGE, the Office of Government Ethics, basically agreed with us that it has been fully disclosed.
I have a little disagreement with them, but it’s a petty one. I don’t believe it had to be disclosed at all, because I think it was an expenditure that he reimbursed.
INGRAHAM: And you say it’s an expenditure, he says —
GUILIANI: They say it’s a liability.
INGRAHAM: — it’s a liability, which is important for campaign finance? Or is it important for disclosure purposes —
GUILIANI: — yes, that’s it — for disclosure purposes, which we decided out of an excess of caution, as a lawyer, you would know. As an excess of caution, we’re going to disclose it.
INGRAHAM: This is what he said today in a letter: “OGE has concluded that the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported as a liability. OGE has determined that the information provided in the note sheet note meets the disclosure requirements for reportable liability under the Ethics in Government Act.”
GUILIANI: So we agree with that, that he disclosed it. We do not agree, necessarily, that it’s — I don’t agree that it’s a liability, because I know the nature of it.
But it doesn’t matter, at this point. It gets established —
INGRAHAM: Walter Shaub, Rudy, says — another former ethics officer says, “This is tantamount to a criminal referral.”
GUILIANI: No it’s not.
INGRAHAM: That’s what — I mean, that’s what he’s saying.
GUILIANI: You just read the language.
INGRAHAM: No, Walter Shaub is another former government ethics officer, who was basically saying, “Yippee! Our government ethics officer has gotten him. This is tantamount to a criminal referral.”
GUILIANI: No, it’s not. If it was, it would say criminal referral. Right? And second, the fact is that the president disclosed everything he could disclose. He can’t disclose more than he knows. And we’re very comfortable with it, and we think it vindicates our original strategy.
Also vindicates the fact that Mueller should now bring this to a close. It’s been a year, he’s gotten 1.4 million documents, he’s interviewed 28 witnesses, and he has nothing, which is why he wants to bring the president into an interview, and we’re demanding from him — tell us what you have to get from an interview that you don’t already have.
Because he has all the facts to make a decision.
INGRAHAM: Why would you agree to an interview now? I mean, a lot of us former criminal defense attorneys have been mulling this for some time.
I mean, given everything that has been discovered about holding back documents, and the possible animus toward the president, why would you agree under any circumstances to allow President Trump to go in there?
GUILIANI: There would be a narrow area where we might agree if they could tell us why they need it. They have his explanations of everything, they have 1.4 million documents, they have the witnesses to corroborate them. If they’re going to disbelieve them, they’re going to disbelieve them. And the fact is, we would have to know, what is it, that you want clarified.
If we knew that and they told us that, if we gave the explanation that we’re proposing, he was — they were going to end it, fine. We’re trying to get him to end this. This is not good for the American people, and the special counsel’s office doesn’t seem to have that, sort of, understanding that they’re interfering with things that are much bigger than them or us.
INGRAHAM: You said, today, there’s a plan b and c, if Mueller doesn’t wrap this thing up. We’re entering the second year. You guys are — you guys are very well aware of how much time and effort this takes to answer these questions, ongoing investigations, though (ph) Clinton found that out. What is the plan b and c?
GUILIANI: Well, we — are going to demand an answer. We’re going to — we cooperated beyond any other president that ever cooperated. All those documents, 1.4 million, all those witnesses —
INGRAHAM: So what’s the plan B and C, Rudy? Is it firing — firing Mueller —
GUILIANI: No, no. We’re not going to fire anybody —
INGRAHAM: — firing Comey —
GUILIANI: — then we just start from day one, again, as the president pointed out. What were going to do is we’re — we’re going to see what kind of legal remedies are available to us, including if they subpoena us, challenge the subpoena, the same reason they can’t indict them, constitutionally.
INGRAHAM: Which, Mueller agreed today. He’s going to abide by no indictment of the president.
GUILIANI: Right, but I don’t think they agreed to the process question, which is, the same reason they can’t indict him, they cant issue a subpoena to him. And remember, Clinton opposed the subpoena, and then he voluntary complied. He didn’t give up presidential prerogative, and then, as the administration wrote a memo saying they can’t do that.
INGRAHAM: Your old pal, Michael Avenatti, today on MSNB —
GUILIANI: I don’t think we — I don’t think we’ve met.
INGRAHAM: Yeah. I’d like to see that back and forth. He said
MSNBC SOT: AVENATTI: “These folks can’t get their stories straight, and they can’t figure out what they want to do. What they want to be doing is telling the truth, and they should’ve told the truth a long time ago. Mr. Guiliani has recently, a week ago, has been lying to the American people about how this occurred, Stormy Daniels’ payment, and when it occurred because according to the disclosure today, it occurred back in 2017.”
GUILIANI: I don’t think I — I don’t think I ever changed that. The payment to her took place in 2017. No, the reimbursement was 2017, the payment, I think, was 2016. So, he wasn’t there for it. I don’t know.
Avenatti is some kind of a — I don’t know what he is. I don’t think he’s a real lawyer. He’s a make believe lawyer. He’s got all kinds of lawsuits. I think the guy’s trying to bail himself out with this case. His offer went —
INGRAHAM: California Bar’s now investigating.
GUILIANI: I don’t want to talk about him. I want to talk about Mueller. And Avenatti means nothing to us. He hasn’t made a single allegation against the president.
INGRAHAM: You’re not worried about Cohen? You’re not worried about what’s happening in the southern district of New York?
GUILIANI: Not a lick. We’re completely uninvolved in that. We’ve gotten assurances that we’re not involved in it. It’s only about Mueller getting the darn things over with, and he owes that to the American people.
INGRAHAM: The head of that, kind of, left leaning ethics group — crew, Committee for Responsible Ethics, in Washington. He said, “Well, because we just learned about this liability recently, that the president disclosed. We’re wondering what other liabilities are out there. They issued a long statement today. They were involved in filing, I guess, the action which led to the disclosure of these statements.”
GUILIANI: I mean, I don’t know what he’s talking about.
INGRAHAM: Are there — are there liabilities that the president might’ve taken on?
GUILIANI: I can’t possibly — I can’t possibly respond to all the president’s political enemies any more than mine. I always ignore them. I think their — their statements are not worth anything. Everybody knows that they have this animus to the president, so who cares what they say.
INGRAHAM: How many meetings have you had with the Mueller team?
GUILIANI: One. And we have five letters to them, three going back to John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, and two from Jane Raskin, Marty Raskin, and I, to them, for things that we need to know. We had no response from them. They’re basically just —
INGRAHAM: But, like, you’re asking for —
GUILIANI: We’re asking for, what did they really need to know. What kind of assurances that we have that will get it over with quickly, like they — they did for Clinton, you know. You know, we didn’t ask although I wanted to, but they overruled me.
I wanted to ask for Hillary Clinton treatment, I wanted the report two weeks in advance, clearing my client. Then I wanted Knowells (ph), then I wanted just an interview questions in advance, we didn’t get Hillary treatment. But hey, I wouldn’t want it because the president would have been embarrassed if that were ever the case.
INGRAHAM: There is concern that the DOJ is not turning over documents unless they’re basically threatened with contempt of Congress, Devin Nunes has been maligned by the liberal media every time he asks for documents, he’s been criticized for not reading some of them — but he’s been maligned for doing so. What is your sense given your background, obviously as a US attorney, your vast experience as a U.S. attorney – what’s going on with the relationship —
GIULIANI: I don’t understand – I was the associate attorney general have pretty much the role that Rosenstein has now, because I ran the criminal side of the justice department. I can’t imagine not complying with a request for such sensitive documents with Congress, they won’t give up the authorization to proceed against Manafort or against Cohen.
Why? Judge Ellis really laid in to them pretty hard, we noticed we were having a pretty good dialogue with them until that happened, I think they’re shell-shocked. They’re not used — they’re the darlings of the media. All of a sudden their integrity is put in question about kind of their tactics they’ve used in guiding Manafort. 2005? Yhe president didn’t know Manafort in 2005, or if he did it was no kind of meaningful relationship.
INGRAHAM: Did you guys follow the story that John Solomon broke about this Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was visited by the FBI in New York. He had a very brief diplomatic visa. He’s on the sanctions list, he believes unfairly. And he’s visited by the FBI according to Solomon’s reporting very well sourced.
And they say, we have this idea that Paul Manafort was colluding with the Russians for the Trump campaign, an implicit “do you want to help us?” in the conversation and Deripaska, who can’t stand Manafort — because he’s in litigation (ph) with him — says, I don’t like this guy but the idea that Manafort is colluding with — it’s ridiculous they basically laugh them out of the room. Doesn’t look like any of this was disclosed, what does that tell you – if the FBI is controlling this —
GIULIANI: Well it tells you – you know what it tells you, it tells you they’re doing what they’re used to. Remember one of their principal litigators was held to be ethically irresponsible for not turning over exculpatory information so if we ever —
INGRAHAM: You talking about Weismann and Enron?
GIULIANI: If we walked in to a hearing with them, I don’t know what they wouldn’t tell us. I know they have plenty of – they have all the exculpatory information about us. I’ve been through the documents. So it’s about time to get the darn things over with. It’s about time to say enough, we’ve tortured this president enough. Meanwhile, look at what he’s accomplished with all this on his back, it’s like a big weight on his back – Korea, China, look at —
GIULIANI: — Iran finally doing away with that ridiculous sell-out agreement.
INGRAHAM: Rubio, Marko Rubio was asked about this push to try to use this oligarch some kind of collusion theory and he said this,
MARCO RUBIO SOT: If there is a conflict of interest at some point and it is borne to be true, it would jeopardize the investigation.
GIULIANI: I think that’s right. What about placing a spy in the Trump campaign?
INGRAHAM: Do you believe that happened?
GIULIANI: I don’t know. Do I —
INGRAHAM: Does the president believe that happened?
GIULIANI: I don’t think we want to believe it or not, people who break in to Manafort’s home in the morning, in a white-collar case when he was producing documents. Who break in to Cohen’s law office? A law office? I mean, I never did that and I was a pretty aggressive prosecutor.
I also never had the benefit of an interview in deciding whether to prosecute or not. I didn’t need it. These guys are going way beyond what is normally done in prosecutorial tactics, and it’s a shame that the Justice Department, because they’re politically frightened, doesn’t sit on them, and say, “You have to abide by our rules.”
INGRAHAM: Even buried in the New York Times, the big New York Times piece today, is a little nugget that you have to kind of search for, Rudy, that says, “Nothing publicly disclosed ties the Trump campaign or the president himself to these nefarious dealings with the Russians.”
That’s the — again, you have to kind of look past the headline, all the way to that.
GUILIANI: That’s been true from day one. It’s true today. They’re not going to be able to invent any evidence of that, and it’s a shame that they have — plus, they won’t answer Congress on how much money this is costing the American people. It’s cost us a fortune.
INGRAHAM: You get —
GUILIANI: These guys, you know, figure they can’t get a good job.
INGRAHAM: — you get the sense that they are going to focus in on some type of obstruction claim, and we’re sitting around —
GUILIANI: To do what? To recommend impeachment? I mean, they don’t get to do that. I mean, they get to send a report to Rosenstein on what they found. I guess they could gratuitously include a recommendation, but really they shouldn’t.
INGRAHAM: — or the facts that would indicate —
INGRAHAM: — the facts amounting to the elements of a crime.
GUILIANI: We can produce a memo to him that rebuts them all 1,000 percent.
INGRAHAM: Well, and it would be probably either about the Trump Tower meeting — there’s still confusion there, a lot of —
GUILIANI: Which he wasn’t present at.
INGRAHAM: — right, but at the — he wasn’t present at, but then Don Trump, Junior, the transcript notes of his talk with Capital Hill came out today. Senate Committee released the notes, and he said he did not have a memory about talking to his father with it, specifically.
Then they’re focusing on this blocked call that he made that day, and he doesn’t remember if it was to his father or not. I mean, that’s the theory that they’re spinning out, and —
GUILIANI: Since he — since, I believe, it took place in the office, it would have been very easy for him to —
INGRAHAM: — June of 2016.
GUILIANI: — yes. Also, remember June of 2016, that’s about when I joined the campaign. Nobody’s going to focus on a Russian woman who says that she has false — she has information about Hillary. Turns out she wants to negotiate sanctions, and they throw her out, basically. And then when she wants to meet again, they don’t meet with her.
Who would — I wouldn’t remember that. I have people coming up to me saying all kinds of things about Hillary, and I’m willing to believe almost anything about her, and I used (ph) to (ph) get rid of them.
INGRAHAM: All (ph) the headlines today at CNN — Don Junior admits he was looking for dirt on Hillary from the Russians (ph) —
GUILIANI: Oh, wow. And they weren’t looking for dirt on Donald Trump?
INGRAHAM: Well, only the docier.
GUILIANI: When I — when I ran — when I ran against them, they were looking for dirt on me every day. I mean, that’s what you do. It’s — maybe you shouldn’t, but you do it. Nothing illegal about that.
And even if it comes from a Russian, or a German, or an American, it doesn’t matter. And they never used it, is the main thing. They never used it. They rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it.
INGRAHAM: Do you think that in the end, when you look at all the main flashpoints — the Trump Tower meeting, the Stormy Daniels payment, the raid on Manafort, the raid on Cohen — is there any one part of that that concerns you more than other parts of that (inaudible) —
GUILIANI: Yes, their inability to reach a conclusion that is obvious, and their unwillingness to recognize the damage this does to our country, all over the world.
There’s no reason for this investigation. There never was a good reason for it in the first place. This was engineered by Comey with the report — not the report, the interview thing that he wrote, that he should have never revealed, which he leaked illegally through a professor.
I mean, nobody —
INGRAHAM: — DOJ’s releasing those documents, by the way, on that particular — on that particular professor —
GUILIANI: Comey — Comey — Comey should be under investigation.
INGRAHAM: Richman — Dan Richman.
GUILIANI: And the Clinton people wanted him fired before we did for what he did to her. That was totally unethical. It was (ph) totally unethical to reveal all the facts, incriminating here, and then this specious argument that she shouldn’t be prosecuted.
INGRAHAM: Do you have information or any sense, again, given your background at justice, how these things tend to go? That there’s any chance that Bob Mueller gave immunity to Jim Comey?
GUILIANI: No, I don’t. I have no — no idea if he gave him immunity. I don’t know why he’s not being investigated. That troubles us because a lot of the president’s statements contradict Comey. They’re much more logical than Comey’s, but they contradict his. He wanted (ph) to just believe Comey, then you’re walking him into a trap. And Comey’s not been investigated. So I don’t think we would sit him down for an interview unless Comey was investigated and treated in the same way.
INGRAHAM: This guy, Jay Goldberg — I guess he was some former Trump lawyer, I’ve — I’ve never heard of him, but he was on —
GUILIANI: Jay Goldberg.
INGRAHAM: Yes, Jay Goldberg.
GUILIANI: I know Jay. I’ve tried cases against him.
INGRAHAM: OK, well he said,
JAY GOLDBERG MSNBC SOT: Well, I told him that I didn’t think that Giuliani was the right person for him to select. I thougth that there were much better people that he could use in terms of negotiating with Mueller.
GUILIANI: I guess I beat him too many times.
Jay is getting a little old. There probably are better people. The only thing that I have is the president trusts me. And I trust the president and I have his back in the right way. I believe — I would represent any president put through this kind of torture. This is not right for our country. That’s why I’m doing this. I’m doing it pro bono and I’m doing it because I believe that this is just plain wrong.
INGRAHAM: The family. They toll this takes on the family. He mentioned Ivanka before. He said Jared is disposable — I’m not sure that went out — over very well —
GUILIANI: No, no, I was kidding around.
INGRAHAM: OK, well, I didn’t — I know if it went over all that well.
GUILIANI: Jared — Jared loved it. Jared loved it. He said, “Did my wife tell you to say that?” And I said, “No, but you are disposable, Jared. Men always — I’m disposable, too.” (inaudible)
INGRAHAM: You’re not worried — you’re not worried about exposure that he has because of that meeting with a Russian banker and — and did that replace anything —
GUILIANI: I can not figure out why that meeting means what it means. First of all, none of it was about getting her emails. It was about dirty information that alleged to have — they didn’t have it. So end of story.
INGRAHAM: I’m talking about the meeting that Jared had with that Russian bank —
GUILIANI: Oh, I see.
INGRAHAM: — in December of 2016.
GUILIANI: That would be a totally different business thing. It has nothing to do with collusion with the Russians over — over — the election’s over at that point.
INGRAHAM: I think if he ordered a White Russian, at the Russian Tea Room once, he;d be —
— he’d be — he’d be in trouble here.
GUILIANI: I haven’t been in Russia in 4 years or 5 years, thank God.
INGRAHAM: Do you have — do you have any concern that there is no real way at this point to get a fair outcome by a special counsel that many very well respected lawyers think was begun, named on spurious, fraudulent grounds?
GUILIANI: Well, I’m confident that if we have to, we can be vindicated in court. I don’t think we are going to have to, but I think we’d get vindicated in court. I’m still hopeful that when it comes down to it, they’re not going to impair their reputations with a bogus report.
INGRAHAM: They’re not going to court with the president, though. He’s going to be interviewed. He’s not going to be in court. He’s going to be in —
GUILIANI: No, no, not (inaudible) —
INGRAHAM: — he’s going to be in contract (ph) if it’s — it’s referred.
GUILIANI: — challenging — challenging the legitimacy of —
INGRAHAM: Oh, OK.
GUILIANI: — the investigatory authority, and the way they’ve spanned it out so much.
INGRAHAM: You — so you — you maintain that the expansion of this probe as it’s been expanded —
GUILIANI: And the misconduct (ph).
INGRAHAM: — is illegitimate.
GUILIANI: What they did with Manafort, what they with Michael Cohen, all of the illegitimate things they’ve done — possibly placing a spy in the Trump campaign — all of these things are areas where indictments have been dismissed because of the government (ph) misconduct. Some of these same people have done it.
I do not understand what Bob was thinking of hiring these people.
INGRAHAM: Are you concerned about any of the former Trump, White House staffers? I know Hope Hicks, her name was thrown around and working with Don Jr., maybe, on the statement about the Trump Tower meeting. Are you worried about her conversations, at all, with the Special Counsel?
GUILIANI: Give me 1,001 prosecutions.
GUILIANI: Those are full statements that are not under oath.
GUILIANI: God that would be really cheap.
GUILIANI: That’d be like —
INGRAHAM: But he — he’s turning the screws on people. As Ellis — as Judge Ellis said, he’s turning the screws on people, not because he cares about Manafort, 2004, 2007 bank — banking issues, he cares about getting a Trump (ph). That’s what he cares about.
GUILIANI: How could — how could Manafort, 2004, 2005 activity have anything to do with —
INGRAHAM: But Manafort’s different from Summit. I’m not — I’m not saying any one lied (ph). I’m just saying Manafort’s different from a 30-year-old or a 25-year-old, who’s like, I’m not going to lose my — I’m not going to lose my livelihood (ph). You know how they operate. You were a prosecutor. This is what prosecutors do.
GUILIANI: I — I — I work with Hope for — under intense pressures (ph).
INGRAHAM: She’s fantastic.
GUILIANI: She’s not going to lie.
INGRAHAM: No, no, no. I’m just using it as an example of any staffer —
GUILIANI: Yes, she is (ph). I think it’s –
INGRAHAM: who would be (ph) — you know — you know what they can do. You know how they work. You said this, “Here, I have an e-mail. Liz (ph), I got an e-mail here.” And then all of the sudden you’re shaking (ph).
GUILIANI: I think if they — if they did that to her, then the Justice Department would have to step in and act, because it would be, just total injustice, and they’ve done a few injustices but not quite as bad as that, yes.
INGRAHAM: Timeline. What is your optimal timeline for this to wrap up?
GUILIANI: They should do it today. I mean, as soon as possible. I think that they have the facts from which they can write their report. If you’re going to write a fair report, fine, write it. If you’re going to write an unfair report, write it and we will combat it. We’re ready to rip to it apart, and we’re ready to rip them apart, if that’s what they want. We would rather peacefully settle this and get it over with.
INGRAHAM: Rudy Guiliani.
GUILIANI: Thank you.
INGRAHAM: Always great to see you. Thanks for coming out.
Follow Peter Barry Chowka on Twitter @pchowka