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Giuliani Walks Back Moscow Comments    01/22 06:06

   President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday walked back comments 
he made about discussions Trump had with his former personal attorney about a 
real estate project in Moscow during the presidential election campaign.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday 
walked back comments he made about discussions Trump had with his former 
personal attorney about a real estate project in Moscow during the presidential 
election campaign.

   Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to lying to 
Congress in 2017 by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower project in January 
2016 even though prosecutors say he actually pursued it into June.

   Giuliani suggested in a TV interview Sunday that Trump remembers 
conversations with Cohen about the project "up to as far as October, November," 
or right up until the election. That extends the timeline for the Russian 
business deal well beyond what the president has publicly acknowledged.

   Giuliani said Monday in a three-sentence statement that his comments "did 
not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any discussions." He said 
his comments were "hypothetical" and "not based on conversations" he had with 
the president.

   He concluded by saying the Moscow project "was in the earliest stage and did 
not advance beyond a free non-binding letter of intent."

   The changing timeline is relevant in light of the special counsel's 
investigation into Russian interference in the election and ties to the Trump 
campaign.

   For Trump, Giuliani plays the role more of spokesman than attorney, 
unleashing public attacks on investigators while throwing out wild accusations 
designed to muddle the narrative of the probe. But at times, he has gone too 
far or has flat-out misspoken, leading to a series of clarifications while 
triggering more legal questions for his client.

   This was the second time within the past week that Giuliani has walked back 
comments from the previous day.

   On Thursday, he issued a statement aimed at clarifying a TV interview from 
the night before in which he appeared to leave open the possibility of 
collusion between Russia and members of Trump's presidential campaign.

   In the statement, he said "there was no collusion by President Trump in any 
way, shape or form" and that he had "no knowledge of any collusion by any of 
the thousands of people who worked on the campaign."

   That was an apparent reversal from Wednesday's television appearance in 
which he said, "I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or 
between people in the campaign." He had previously denied any collusion.


(KA)

 
 
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