Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has claimed “truth isn’t truth” as he explained his concerns over pushing the president into an interview that he says could be a perjury trap.
Mr Giuliani used the line during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd on Sunday.
He was trying to make the case that having Mr Trump sit down for an interview with the team investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election would not accomplish much because of the “he-said-she-said” nature of witnesses’ recollections.
I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjuryRudy Giuliani
The ex-New York mayor cited former FBI Director James Comey as an example, who has said that Mr Trump pushed him at a private meeting to ease up in the federal investigation of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Mr Trump has disputed that.
“I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury,” Mr Giuliani said.
“And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well, that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.”
When Mr Todd replied: “Truth is truth,” Mr Giuliani responded: “No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth… Donald Trump says, ‘I didn’t talk about Flynn with Comey’. Comey says, ‘You did talk about it’, so tell me what the truth is.”
The comments left Mr Todd flummoxed, but not Mr Comey.
The former FBI chief tweeted: “Truth exists and truth matters. Truth has always been the touchstone of our country’s justice system and political life. People who lie are held accountable. If we are untethered to truth, our justice system cannot function and a society based on the rule of law dissolves.”
Mr Trump and his aides have been accused of spreading lies and disinformation.
White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway famously referred to such claims early last year as “alternative facts”.