Giuliani on when Trump learned of $130,000 payment: 'Don't know and doesn't matter'

George Stephanopoulos interviews Donald Trump's new personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, during an exclusive interview on "This Week."
20:22 | 05/06/18

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Transcript for Giuliani on when Trump learned of $130,000 payment: 'Don't know and doesn't matter'
the president's top attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Mayor Giuliani, thank you for joining us this morning. Good morning. The president said you'll get the facts straight. Let's get facts on the table. The president does acknowledge meeting stormy Daniels, correct? Gee, I'm not really -- involved in the Daniels thing. So I don't know. I mean -- he denies that it happened. She's written a letter denying it. We do have a picture of them together. So the president -- It depends on what you mean by met her, right? There's the picture. I just want to get that fact on the table. It look like my friend, Donald Trump, before he was president. That looks like the woman that was on "Saturday night live" last night. That's pretty interesting. I think -- god, if I were her lawyer, I would be upset. Fame and fortune. Let me make money. How was she damaged? She's become rich as a result of this. $130,000 doesn't mean anything? Boy, I wish that was my case. The president denies any sexual relationship with stormy Daniels? He has. He denies it. She denied it. When it was opportunistic, she came forward. Then the whole thing happened with Michael Cohen. It's history now because it wasn't a campaign anything. But let me just -- you say it's history. When did the president first learn that stormy Daniels wanted money to keep quiet about the relationship? Don't know. Doesn't matter. My job is legal. Number one, it wasn't a campaign contribution. This is the kind of thing I have settled for celebrities and famous people. Every lawyer that does that kind of work has. And number two, even if it was considered a campaign contribution, it was entirely reimbursed out of personal funds. Which I don't think we'll get to because the first one is enough. So case closed for Donald Trump. And I think for Michael Cohen, who I think got a big boost with judge Ellis' comments the other day. The other day, you also told buzzfeed, at some point after the 2016 election, Michael Cohen complained to some people he hadn't been paid by Donald Trump. So then you said Cohen met with trump and told him -- and Giuliani said, we'll cover your expenses. They worked out a $35,000 a month retainer. After that. The president did know about this after the campaign? Can't say that. At some point, yes. Could have been recently. Could have been awhile back. Those are the facts that we're still working on and are maybe in a little bit of dispute. This is more rumor than anything else. You said that to buzzfeed. That's one of the possibilities of one of the rumors. The reality is -- You stated it as fact. Well, maybe I did. Right now, I'm at the point where I'm learning. And I can -- I can't prove that. I can say it's rumored. I can prove it's rumor. I can't prove it's fact. Maybe we will. You said, as a matter of fact, on "Hannity" and buzzfeed. You talked to "The the Washington post" about it. How do you separate fact and opinion? When I state an opinion, I'll say this is my opinion. When I state a fact, I'll say this is a fact. You said the president worked out a retainer agreement with Michael Cohen after the election in order to repay him in a settlement to stormy Daniels. The second part, the last part. The retainer agreement was to repay expenses. Which turns out to have included this one to the woman you saw on "Saturday night live" last night, trying to make more money. Now our nda with her seems to be irrelevant because she wants to break it up because she wants to make a lot more money than $130,000. I never thought $130,000 -- I know this sounds funny to people there at home -- I never thought that $130,000 was a real payment. It was a nuisance payment. When I settle this for a real possibility, it's a couple million dollars. Not $130,000. People don't go away for $130,000 on a meritorious claim. You did call it a settlement payment. The president did make these payments over the course of 2017. Then why, on April 5th, did the president deny any knowledge of the payments? I don't know when the president learned about it. He could have learned about it after or not connected the whole thing that time. The reality is -- those are not facts that worry me as a lawyer. Those don't amount to anything. What is said to the press. That's political. It's okay to lie to the press? Uh -- gee. I don't know. You know a few presidents who did that. I don't think this president has done that. But in any event, that's not the crime. The crime is, was it a campaign contribution? Not a campaign contribution. 100%. People want the avoid that conclusion because it gets him out of trouble. It makes the whole investigation and tactics used by the prosecutors totally repugnant. But as you know, the law says any payment in connection with a campaign could be considered something that has to be reported -- hold on. Let me finish. Then you can respond. Michael avenatti, stormy Daniels' lawyer, says there's a great deal of evidence. Contemporaneous at the time that they did, in fact, discuss the campaign. Michael avenatti is going to say what he has to say to collect his money. He'll be on later. People can judge why he let it go on "Saturday night live." If this is a serious case and not a comedy. Here's the test of the campaign finance commission. If it could be for any other purpose. If a man buys a suit, if a woman buys a dress, it cannot be considered a campaign contribution. This was for another purpose. To protect him and his family. It may have involved the campaign. Doesn't matter. It would have been done under any other circumstances if there was no campaign. If that's the case, then why wasn't it -- I can prove -- I can prove it's been done numerous times. Not necessarily with president trump. But with many other people that I and other lawyers have represented. If it could have been done any other time, she gave an interview in 2011. On radio shows earlier as well. Why didn't the president make the payment earlier? I don't know. Maybe she didn't demand it earlier. You're not going to pay if there's no demand. I think it's suspect that she waits until the very last minute with regard to the campaign. And waited to get the maximum personal damage against the president. Back in 2011, he was a celebrity. He wasn't running for president of the United States. That adds to the situati. It doesn't create additional motivation. Primary motivation is personal. A long history of doing that. That she and avenatti and the other lawyers don't have anything to do with. I'm very comfortable with that part of the case, George. It's the Mueller part of the case that I came in for. Not this. I want to get to that. That one's gone. That one's gone. If you ask the prosecutors off the record, they would tell you that's gone. There were interviews as late as this week where people said it was clear to them that it wasn't gone. Even the president's allies are having a hard time believing that Mr. Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen without knowing what it was for. Here's Andrew Napolitano on fox. If Rudy wants the public to believe that Donald Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen $130,000 and didn't know what it was for, didn't know that it was going to silence stormy Daniels, that is unworthy of belief. How do you respond to Andrew Napolitano? The judge doesn't know the facts of the case. He knows less about the facts of the case than I do. A wonderful guy, judge Napolitano. He shouldn't be speculating on facts he doesn't know. I think he would regret that if he thought about that. $130,000 between a lawyer and a client worth billions is not -- George -- you know -- I don't like saying this. Is not a great deal of money. $1.3 million is a great deal of money. That's the kind of money you would think of as a settlement. If I saw $130,000, I would never think it was to settle a substantial claim. Are you confident that Michael Cohen never told president trump that I made this payment in order to make -- with stormy Daniels? Number one, why would I be? And why would I be concerned? It was not a campaign contributions. It was done for other purposes, in addition to campaign purposes, and it was repaid. End of case. You acknowledge that Michael Cohen would tell the president that this is what it's for. Uh -- on October 15th, 16th, right before the election? $130,000 payment when there are other -- I did make clear and I don't know what they are yet. I will know. There were other things involved that had nothing to do with stormy Daniels. Other amounts of money. This was not uncommon for him to do that. No, I would not -- if I were him, and I were the president's lawyer. And I had done this in the past. And it had worked out in the past, I would not go to him and bother him two weeks before the election with this thing. But certainly before April 5, 2018, the president knew Michael Cohen had made the payments because he, in fact, reimbursed him. I don't know. I don't think this is at all relevant anymore. This is like chasing the Flynn tangent when it turns out that John Kerry is violating the Logan act and nobody seems to care. Even if this was not a -- We leave John Kerry out of it. Even if this was not a campaign finance violation, as you say, this was a liability to Michael Cohen. Why didn't the president include that on his financial disclosures? How could he when he didn't know it? It's not a liability. It's an expense. So I'm representing the president, I'll say. I came to Washington this weekend. It's a certain expense. I bill him for it two or three months from now. It's not a loan. He's not loaning me money. In this case, my law firm, or I, in this case, it's me because I'm representing him individually, I lay out the money. He pays me back. Sometimes those expenses go on for a couple of years. But you called it a settlement payment. So this would be something he owes Michael Cohen. He knew he had this liability. It's not a loan. He didn't include it on his financial disclosure form. It's not a loan. It's an expense. You don't include all legal fees or legal payments on your financial disclosure form. I don't think anybody believes he knew about it at the time. There is a question about when did he find out. June 2017, you said he made the agreement with Michael Cohen before June 2017. The agreement with Michael Cohen, as far as I know, is a long-standing agreement. Michael Cohen takes care of situations like this. Gets paid for them sometimes. He handles things and gets reimbursed. Is Michael Cohen still the president's attorney? No, of course not. It would be a conflict right now. I am in this respect. So is Jay sekulow. So are the raskins. And then, of course, he has white house counsel. As you know, from working in the white house, that's not quite your attorney. That's the presidency's attorney. Correct. He said, you said this was a regular arrangement he had with Michael Cohen. Did Michael Cohen make other payments to other women? I have no knowledge of that. I would think if it was necessary, yes. He made payments for the president. Conducted business for the president. That means he had legal fees. Monies laid out. And expenditures. Which I have on my bills to my clients. Are you confident that his testimony on the stormy Daniels payment won't contradict the president? Not in any material respect. If it didn't contradict it at all, somebody would be lying. I remember the great cross-examination where the person just repeated the the things over and over again the same way. Of course, there will be minor details. On the two main facts. Was it for another purpose other than campaign if it was campaign? Yes. It was to settle a personal issue that would have been embarrassing to him and his wife. Number two, did he repay it over a period of time and find out ultimately what it was about? Yes. That's 100%. That's why the people who think they're chasing this down are involved in the same witch hunt that judge Ellis was so concerned about with Mueller. They had dinner in March. A phone call two weeks ago. Any other communication? Are you sure they didn't discuss the stormy Daniels payment during these conversations? I -- I don't think it's a good idea for the two of them to talk right now. Eventually, they can. They're very good friends. I kind of miss Michael's advice. I think Jay does also. But -- right now, the best thing to do is through the lawyers. We have a very good relationship with his two lawyers. We're going to continue to do that. That has worked out for us. If they had conversations before this, no harm. I mean -- again, that part of the case, George, I am very comfortable is gone. I gotta focus my attention on the Mueller probe. Are you concerned at all that Michael Cohen is going to cooperate with prosecutors? No. I expect he'll cooperate. I don't think they'll be happy. He doesn't have incriminating evidence about the president or himself. The man is an honest, honorable lawyer. And despite "The times" article today, which is totally baseless, as far as I can tell. But, you know, that's his lawyer's issue. We're there to help. My issue is getting up to speed on the facts here. I'm about halfway there. Has the president or any member of the president's team ever suggested to Michael Cohen in any way that the president would pardon him if he were indicted? Jay and I have made it clear and Michael's lawyers all know that that obviously is not on the table. It's not a decision to be made now. There's to reason to pardon anybody now. So it hasn't been discussed? Has not been discussed. And would not be discussed. Does the president have the unferted power, as president Clinton, president Reagan had? I used to have the attorney work for me, from president Reagan. He gave out 900 pardons, far fewer than president Obama or president trump. Are there people I want to see get pardons, like Michael milken, who I prosecuted? Right now, pardons wouldn't be illegal to talk about. They would be kind of confusing. Let's talk about the Mueller investigation. The president said he wants to speak with Mueller, answer his questions. Are you prepared to make that happen? Not after the way they've acted. I came into the case with the desire to do that. And they just keep convincing me not to do it. First, they leak the questions. Let me stop you there. Those questions were written by Jay sekulow after a meeting with Mueller and his team. And these were the -- your impression, the impression of the trump team's take on the questions. And in fact, it was a document made by the trump team. It wasn't something leaked by Mueller. Well, it wasn't leaked by us. I know that. Look, it may not have been -- first of all, I don't think Bob Mueller leaks. Let's be clear about that. I think people -- I don't know -- I don't think his top guys or women leak. I think people below leak. A lot of people saw these different documents. Could it have been somebody formerly on our side? Formerly on theirs? I don't know. Main fact is I don't care. My client's prejudiced by that. In way, we were helped by it. I guess that's why they suspect us. We were helped inadvertently. We were helped because it shows he has no case. Three main issues, right? One is -- was there collusion? Come on. Nobody believes anymore that there was collusion. Several questions on the list about collusion. There were questions about it because they don't have answers. They wouldn't have to ask us if they had answers. I know you and the president keep on saying that. But Michael Caputo rks who has worked on the president's team, just met with Mueller's team. He came out saying they asked a lot of questions about collusion. He came away quite concerned about Paul manafort, Roger stone, Rick Gates, and others. Maybe he's less concerned now after judge Ellis gave a pretty good argument that he might have to toss the case. I would think Mr. Caputo could rest easy. But the man has been tortured. He has to be looked at for some kind of compensation. The man has been tortured. What he's saying is they asked a lot of questions. That doesn't mean they know anything. Mayor, if the president's done nothing wrong, as you say again and again, and he tells the truth. He hasn't done anything wrong, George. And if he tells the truth, as you would advise him to do, what is the danger in answering Robert Mueller's questions? Because they're trying to trap -- you couldn't put a lawyer on the show who wants to keep his law license that would say he should answer the questions. But what if he tells the truth. It's only prosecute fbl they have built-up evidence to prove he didn't tell the truth. If you have evidence that proves the president didn't tell the truth, then he didn't tell the truth. No. People do things like lie. People lie. Could Comey be lying? You're damn right he could be lying, George. And we're going to walk ourselves into a trap like that? If Mr. Comey lied to the special counsel, he's vulnerable to perjury. If the president tells the truth, he's not. But you have to prove that. And the special counsel has to be open to believing that. The special counsel so far seems to think Comey is Moses. I happen to think Comey is judas. But you believe the president is telling the truth. If you believe that, if you have that conviction, you're his attorney, why don't you say go in, talk to Robert Mueller, tell the truth? Because I wouldn't be an attorney if I did that. I would be living in some kind of unreal fantasy world that everybody tells the truth. They don't have a case on collusion. They don't have a case obstruction. That's why they're asking all kinds of cockamamie questions like, what do you feel? What do you think? I'm going to walk him into a prosecution for perjury like Martha Stewart did? She didn't tell the truth. She would tell you that she told the truth and they set her up. I don't want to get into that case. What happens if Robert Mueller subpoena's the president? Will you comply? We don't have to. President Clinton negotiated a deal. But he did testify before the grand jury. Is the president willing to do that? Only for 2 1/2 hours. Only with a -- an arranged format. Would we be willing to do that? I would rather have the Hillary Clinton treatment. I think president Clinton was before more than 2 1/2 hours. No, he was 2 1/2 hours before the grand jury. Approximately. Maybe three. We'll take three. Hillary Clinton treatment is what I'm looking for. That is no under oath. Only a Q & a. And then we get the questions in advance. They write the report two weeks before. He has briefed you on the topics he wants to discuss. Are you confident that the president will T not take the fifth in this case? Uh, how could I ever be confident of that? When I'm facing a situation with the president and the other lawyers are, in which every lawyer in America thinks he would be a fool to testify. I have a client who wants to testify. Please, don't -- he said et yesterday. And, you know, Jay and I said to ourselves, my goodness, I hope we get a chance to tell him the risk that he's taking. So he may testify. And -- we may actually work things out with Bob Mueller. Because working with him directly is good. But, if they keep undermining him. And we have situations like judge Ellis saying that they're out of control. And they're not authorized. And they refuse to give the judge their authorization. What is going on with that, George? God almighty. Final question. Do you still want rod Rosenstein to shut down the investigation? I do. I believe after judge Ellis' remarks on Friday, there's no question the amount of government misconduct is accumulating. I happen to believe it's greater than anybody realizes. Very embarrassing to my former justice department. Very embarrassing not to FBI agents. Please. Nobody attacking FBI agents. The former leadership of both organizations. Mr. Giuliani, thank you for your time this morning. George, you're always fair. Thank you. Take care.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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