According to Rudy Giuliani, the years just 'merged together' for Trump.
Rudy Giuliani went on Fox News Radio yesterday to say Trump has no idea when his corporation stopped negotiating with Russia over the Trump Tower in Moscow, continuing his tradition of confusing the narrative about Trump's business dealings.
According to Giuliani, the talks could have lasted all the way up until November 2016, which flies in the face of Trump's own July 2016 assertion that he had no dealings at all in Russia. Giuliani claims that Trump just doesn't remember how long the Trump corporation was in talks with the Russians about a major Moscow real estate deal that Trump had been eager to build for literally decades.
Giuliani's explanation is confusing at best: "And he says as far as he's concerned, it could be anywhere up to November of 2016. But if you ask him to pinpoint the dates, he'd say to me 2015 and 2016 merged together." It's hardly reassuring to think that neither the president nor his attorney can separate one year from another.
Giuliani also apparently isn't clear on the concept of what it means to do business with someone. He said, for example, that Trump wasn't doing business in Moscow by signing a letter of intent about a Trump Tower Moscow because it was an early step in the project.
The Trump Corporation's ill-fated exploration into Russian real estate came to the fore last November, when former Trump fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump's real estate dealings with Russia. Cohen initially told Congress the conversations about the tower stopped in January 2016, but information from Cohen's plea made it clear they lasted until at least June 2016.
Of course, Trump lawyers, including Giuliani, have a long history of being wildly uncertain as to what his client knows, while being completely unafraid to speculate about it to the press.
When the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting — where various Trump associates met with Russians to get dirt about Hillary Clinton — first came to light, Trump repeatedly declared he didn't know a thing about it. Then Giuliani went on television and said that maybe he and Trump both knew about the meeting in advance, but he couldn't say for sure because "you could have very, very differing recollections on that because it was right in the heat of the campaign."
Whether it is deliberate deception or deep confusion, both Giuliani and Trump are experts at muddying the waters over Trump's connections with Russia, and this is a perfect example.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.