Fox News anchor Chris Wallace wasn’t just sanctimonious in challenging Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani over President Donald Trump saying special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report found “no obstruction.” He was downright rude and obnoxious.
“That’s not true!” Wallace declared. “The Mueller report makes clear, especially on the issue of collusion — obstruction, rather, that he’s leaving it to Congress.”
But Giuliani was more than up to the task, repeatedly schooling Wallace, beginning with pointing out the Fox News Sunday anchor was giving Mueller’s reports “full credit.”
Giuliani was clear the president’s legal team is pleased with how the public debate is playing out, and when Wallace said Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump, opting to invite Congress to “look into” whether there was obstruction.
“You can’t exonerate,” Giuliani countered. “Exoneration means proving a negative.”
Wallace said that Mueller was “suggesting that there was a case and evidence that Congress should examine” — never mind that Mueller had two years to examine the “case” and failed to produce a single indictment.
Giuliani reminded Wallace that was a “totally biased, warped view of a prosecutor’s role.”
Wallace brought up the claim by former White House Counsel Don McGahn that Trump told him Mueller “has to go,” saying that the only reason that didn’t happen was because McGahn threatened to resign.
(Giulini would later say McGahn offered three different versions of that take, adding the president’s concern was that the conflicts of interest had to be considered.)
Explaining that the president had “very good reasons to fire Mueller,” Giuliani said it would not have been obstruction of justice had Trump pushed the issue, noting that if that had happened, someone else would then pick up on the investigation — which is what happened when Trump fired disgraced FBI director James Comey.
…with Wallace interrupting all along the way.
“Chris what you’re doing is you’re taking the Mueller report, which is a prosecutor’s version of what happened, you’re giving it full credit and you’re not giving me a chance to explain the other side, which is very very strong and was left out by the prosecutor,” Giuliani said.
“I think that’s unfair in a case of this magnitude not to tell the other side,” he added.
The former mayor of New York City summed up the Mueller report as “calumny, lies and distortions,” but Wallace doggedly pursued the obstruction issue.
“When did Mueller become god?” Giuliani asked. “Mueller says the injury to the justice system is still as great — there was no injury, by the way, we’re talking about an inchoate crime. We’re talking about something that didn’t happen. There was no obstruction. Nothing was denied to him, nobody crushed cellphones like Hillary did, nobody deleted 33,000 emails like Hillary’s people did and nobody bleached a server like Hillary did.
There was no obstruction,” he continued. “They don’t point to a single obstruction in their investigation. They went from day one to day end — they got everything they wanted.”
The last remark was challenged by Wallace because Trump didn’t testify, prompting Giuliani to shut that argument down post-haste.
“Well, you know why he didn’t testify before them? Because they were going to trap him into perjury like they did with Flynn,” he said. “You think I’m a fool? I would have been disbarred if I let him testify.”
Wallace would compare Trump to Clinton, noting that the president said he did not recall “at least 37 times” in his written responses to Mueller before running a clip of Trump criticizing Clinton for the same thing.
“You’ve got 30 seconds. Why is that a problem for low Clinton but it isn’t for Donald Trump?” Wallace then asked.
Giuliani responded by pointing out an important difference, that being that evidence suggested Clinton was guilty — though he first articulated the thought to say she “was guilty of the underlying crimes.”
This prompted Wallace to ask Giuliani, “Who made you god, as you said about Mueller?
“I’m saying there’s a difference — I’m just saying there’s a difference — I’m not saying she’s guilty,” he clarified. “The differences there is overwhelming evidence that you actually obstructed justice. She denied the investigators the information. Nothing was denied to them.”
Noting how the Mueller’s team “destroyed” the life of former general Mike Flynn, Giuliani added, “If my client has an unclear recollection, I’m not going to go stretch out for the prosecutor so the prosecutor can nail him.”
Wallace closed the interview by complimenting his guest for being a “good lawyer,” which drew counter praise from Giuliani, who said Wallace was a good interviewer. Many would disagree.
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