Less than 12 hours after his train wreck of an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani was back on Donald Trump’s favorite TV channel to continue his streak of making things so much worse for his client.
On Wednesday night, Giuliani—who is now on Trump’s legal team—said that Trump had reimbursed his lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 Cohen gave Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about the alleged affair between her and Trump.
“[Cohen] funneled it through a law firm, and then the president repaid,” Giuliani told a hilariously stunned Sean Hannity. But, Giuliani insisted, the payment wasn’t illegal because “that money was not campaign money.”
Both Cohen and Trump have previously denied any collaboration on—and, in Trump’s case, knowledge of—the payment, which many believe constitutes a violation of Federal Election Commission campaign finance rules.
On Thursday morning, however, Giuliani seemed to draw a direct connection between the payment—which he himself has now tied directly the president—and its effect on the 2016 election.
Speaking on Fox & Friends, Giuliani insisted the money was not related to the campaign... except then he implied that it totally was.
“Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton,” Giuliani said. “Cohen didn’t even ask. Cohen made it go away. He did his job.”
Besides, Giuliani said, Trump didn’t even care about the payment.
“I don’t want to demean anyone, but $130,000 seems like a lot of money,” Giuliani said. “It’s not when you’re putting $100 million into your campaign.”
Oh, well, as long as no one is demeaned, I guess everything’s totally kosher!
Legal experts, however, aren’t convinced.
“If the purpose of this was to stop [Daniels] from hurting the campaign, then what you have is Cohen made a loan to the campaign.” Campaign Legal Center Senior Director Lawrence Noble explained to the Washington Post. “And it was an excessive loan because lending the campaign money is a contribution. It was an excessive contribution until it’s repaid.”
Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels in her cases against Cohen and Trump, seemed to agree. While Giuliani was busy shooting himself in the foot over and over on national television Thursday morning, Avenatti tweeted to Fox & Friends, asking, “where can we send the gift basket?”