Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani: ‘I never said there was no collusion’ between the campaign and Russia

Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer of President Donald Trump, said he’s never categorically stated that Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia — a dramatic shift away from the president’s repeated claim of “no collusion.”

Giuliani delivered that comment Wednesday on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.” He also said that Trump didn’t collude with Russia himself and that the president didn’t commit a crime.

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign. I have no idea,” he said. “I said the president of the United States — there is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here: Conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.”

Giuliani was referring to the hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s servers, which was allegedly conducted by Russian operatives. The incident, and others, has been investigated by Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller for possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

On Thursday, Giuliani sent a statement attempting to “clarify” his remarks on CNN. “I represent only President Trump not the Trump campaign. There was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form. Likewise, I have no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani’s comments on Wednesday seeking to distance Trump from the rest of his campaign officials differed from the president’s stance. Trump has repeatedly said — on Twitter and in public — that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.

But it’s not the first time that Giuliani has moved away from Trump’s denial of any collusion. Last year, the lawyer said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” that “collusion is not a crime.”

Mueller has charged 12 Russian intelligence officers related to the DNC hack. The special counsel has also accused former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort of lying about sharing polling data with an alleged Russian spy during the 2016 election.

When CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked whether Manafort sharing polling data is considered collusion, Giuliani replied that “polling data is given to everybody” before attempting to discount the accuracy of such statistics. The lawyer later added that Trump didn’t know about the alleged distribution of the polling data until it was covered in the news.

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