Giuliani No Longer Ruling Out Possibility the Trump Campaign Colluded With Russia

“I never said there was no collusion.”

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, is no longer able to deny that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians—an extraordinary position that effectively blows up months of previous “no collusion” defenses the president has repeatedly issued amid the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or people in the campaign,” Giuliani told CNN’s Chris Cuomo during a tense exchange Wednesday evening.

“Yes, you have,” Cuomo pushed back.

“I said the president of the United States,” Giuliani continued. “There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspiring with the Russians to hack the DNC.”

Giuliani added that if any collusion did take place, “it happened a long time ago” but that “it is not provable because it never happened.”

The remarks, the latest in a series of baffling television appearances by the former New York mayor as he continues to represent the president, directly contradict the Trump team’s longstanding denials that any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin had occurred.

Giuliani on Wednesday also dismissed the argument that if Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, did indeed share polling data with a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, as Robert Mueller has accused, those alleged actions still did not amount to collusion.

“Polling data is given to everybody,” he said, before instantly conceding that Manafort “shouldn’t have given it to them.”

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