Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Giuliani not ruling out chance of Trump taking the Fifth

Giuliani not ruling out chance of Trump taking the Fifth

The NBC sketch comedy series enlisted porn actress Stormy Daniels as a surprise guest for Saturday's cold open - playing herself as the object of affection of Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump.

The comment from Giuliani, the former NY mayor who recently joined Trump's legal team, comes amid an ongoing furor over a string of assertions he has made regarding the 2016 payment to Stormy Daniels, why it was made and how much the president knew about it.

When Trump was asked last month aboard Air Force One if he knew about the payment to Stormy Daniels, he said no.

Giuliani pointed out that Trump has previously said he wants to testify, and that while he ultimately may end up doing so, as his lawyer, Giuliani said he has a responsibility to tell the president he would be taking a great chance. "But I would think if it was necessary, yes".

Stephanopoulos also asked Giuliani whether Trump would comply with a subpoena.

He revealed last week that Trump had reimbursed Cohen, a startling announcement that stood in direct contrast to the president's own public claims weeks earlier. "We can assert the same privileges other presidents have".

"The mob takes the Fifth Amendment", Trump said.

When asked on Sunday whether Trump knew about the payment to Daniels after the campaign, Giuliani demurred.

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"When all the facts and evidence come out, there's going to be evidence of payments to other women", Michael Avenatti said Sunday in an interview "State of the Union".

"The "no" refers to when the payment occurred", she told CNN. Trump has denied the extramarital affair allegations made by Daniels and McDougal.

Neither the payment nor the liability to Cohen was disclosed on the Trump campaign or the president's financial disclosures.

In his interview, Giuliani again sought to argue that the payment was not a campaign contribution, saying it was "entirely reimbursed out of personal funds".

Norman Eisen, ethics chief under Trump's predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, said any such payments would have constituted campaign contributions if they were meant to influence the election, even if they were also made with the "partial motive of protecting the Trump family from embarrassment". Ben Stiller returned as the latter-unfortunately without Robert De Niro's Robert Mueller-by-way-of-Jack Byrnes-but he was just one cameo of many: there were familiar faces aplenty as Cohen and the rest of the Trump team made the phone call rounds to discuss the latest news.

The FBI raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room last month in part to seek information that included payments made to women who alleged affairs with Trump more than a decade ago.

"I never thought $130,000 - I know this sounds amusing to people there at home - I never thought $130,000 was a real payment". He specifically called it "a nuisance payment".

"The more Mr. Giuliani talks, the worse Mr. Trump's legal situation becomes", Eisen said. He also said that the possibility of pardoning Cohen - who is facing scrutiny from federal investigators exploring whether he committed bank fraud and wire fraud - has not been raised. Giuliani also didn't rule out Cohen making similar payments to other women on the president's behalf. "That's not a decision to be made now, there's no reason to pardon anybody now".

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