As President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly argued that a sitting president does not have to comply with a subpoena, asserting that if one were to be issued in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, Trump has the authority to resist it.
“He’s the president of the United States,” the former mayor of New York City said earlier this month. “We can assert the same privileges other presidents have.”
But during a live interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo Friday, Giuliani was forced to confront remarks he made in 1998 that appear to undercut that very assertion. “You’ve got to do it,” Giuliani told Charlie Rose when asked about a presidential subpoena in 1998. “I mean, you don’t have a choice. There is a procedure for handling that.”
“That’s extremely unfair what you’re doing right now,” Giuliani complained as the clip played on a split screen. “This is the reason people don’t come on this show.” He later called the network “disgusting.”
The tense moment came during a nearly 45-minute segment that included multiple attacks against the Russia investigation and the FBI. Giuliani told Cuomo that Robert Mueller has agreed to limit the scope of potential questions for Trump down to two to five subjects. (He claimed that Trump would agree to an interview “tomorrow” if he believed Mueller’s investigation was dealing with the truth and not a potential perjury trap. He used Martha Stewart as an example, suggesting that she “never would have gone to jail if she hadn’t gone and testified.”)
According to Giuliani, one of the off-limit categories will be any questions pertaining to Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer whose offices were raided by the FBI last month.
Watch the interview below. The 1998 Charlie Rose clip takes off around the 24-minute mark.