President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani went on the defense Sunday morning, telling Face the Nation that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen made at least 183 recordings of separate conversations, among which the president is "discussed at any length" on 11 or 12, and only recorded on one.
.@RudyGiuliani tells @FaceTheNation on additional tapes from Cohen:— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 29, 2018
-183 unique conversations on the tapes and President Trump is on one of them
-12 other tapes discuss President Trump. Giuliani said it is Cohen talking to reporters. pic.twitter.com/bF20QuGRpo
CNN aired that conversation between Trump and Cohen, in which they discuss the purchase of rights to a Playboy model's claim that she and Trump had an affair. Cohen's attorney, longtime Clinton operative Lanny Davis, leaked it.
Giuliani now says that the tape was altered, telling Fox that two experts and retired FBI agents who have analyzed the tape believe it was "played" with.
Tampered tapes? President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani says expert analysis shows ‘someone messed’ with Cohen tapes pic.twitter.com/Mf2h3YZWz8— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 29, 2018
Avowed Democrat Alan Dershowitz, a recent Trump defender, said that Giuliani is doing the right thing, and that any good lawyer would conduct a forensic examination of the tape.
Responding to a New York Times report that special counsel Robert Mueller is digging through Trump's tweets to make an obstruction case, Giuliani told Face the Nation on Sunday that President Trump may not have to testify at all because his tweets lay out his defense.
"A lot of his tweets have been very helpful. The reason he may not have to testify is that he’s laid out his defense very clearly," Giuliani said, adding ""Obstruction by tweet is not something I think works real well."
"Generally obstruction is secret it’s clandestine it’s corrupt. I’ve looked at those tweets and they don’t amount to anything."
Has Giuliani told @realDonaldTrump to stop tweeting after reports Mueller is investigating the president’s tweets?@RudyGiuliani : Good luck about tweeting…Obstruction by tweet is something that doesn’t work so well. pic.twitter.com/O4utVBBqbY— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 29, 2018
While The Times said Mueller isn't focused on any particular tweet or comment, he will attempt to tie Trump's tweets to the Russia investigation; public attacks; misleading White House statements; and possible offers to pardon potential witnesses.
In particular, Mueller is focusing on tweets concerning Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former FBI Director James Comey in order to stitch together a mosaic leading to the "obstruction" chapter of the saga, according to "three people briefed on the matter," the gold standard in anonymous sources.
Several of the remarks came as Mr. Trump was also privately pressuring the men — both key witnesses in the inquiry — about the investigation, and Mr. Mueller is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry. -NYT
Trump's lawyers argue that none of what Mueller is targeting constitutes obstruction, including the firing Comey in May 2017 - which falls under Trump's authority as President.
Trump tower meeting
Finally, Giuliani told Fox News Sunday that Michael Cohen's claim that Trump had advance knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney during the 2016 election false, saying Cohen's "default position is to lie."
"If he taped everything else, why the heck didn’t he tape this?" Giuliani asked rhetorically, adding that he believes Cohen is "capable of doctoring tapes."
CNN reported late Thursday that Cohen is prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Donald Trump knew in advance about a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya - a Fusion GPS associate who is not a fan of Trump Sr.
"It’s just flat out untrue," Giuliani told Fox. "I would’ve been surprised back then, but now that I know all this about (Cohen), it seems to me his default position is to lie."