On Saturday, The New York Times published a 20-page letter Trump’s attorneys sent to special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year. In it, they say the president “dictated a misleading letter” regarding Donald Jr’s now notorious June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. Such was repeatedly reported last year, and was strenuously denounced by Trump’s team. At the time, the most prominent of Trump’s lawyers was Jay Sekulow.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is now the public face of Trump’s legal team. For reasons known only to Giuliani, he thought it would be a good idea to defend Sekulow’s repeated denials . Giuliani tried to frame Sekulow’s denials as something other than lies.
One realizes that since Donald Trump retains 35-40% approval rating, this kind of thing apparently works for some segment of his base. But the rest of us watch in awe as this president and his administration lies in real-time, when once fully debunked, tries to create a nonexistent lane in which willfully telling mistruths does not equate to lying.
Speaking to CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Giuliani said that Sekulow and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — who repeatedly echoed Sekulow’s denials — had simply gotten facts wrong about Trump’s involvement.
When asked by Chris Cuomo about the plausibility that somehow Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Jay Sekulow had simply erred, Giuliani asked, “You think maybe somebody could’ve made a mistake? He added, “Why is it always that somebody… you think that Jay Sekulow lied? Maybe he just got it wrong, like I got a few things wrong at the beginning of the investigation.”
And, once again, Team Trump has to choose between taking ownership of lies or pleading ignorant. In keeping with all precedent, Giuliani obviously chose the latter.