Not content to falsely claim Donald Trump fully exonerated by the Mueller report, Rudy Giuliani seemed to get nuttier and nuttier as he claimed Donald Trump Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting with the Russians was a set up that was somehow tied to Hillary Clinton, and later, that the whole investigation was a “frame up” against Donald Trump that should have a “good investigation” to “ferret that out.”
Giuliani first called the genesis of the Mueller investigation “a counter-intelligence frame-up” at about 16 minutes into his appearance on America’s Newsroom today. While other networks were scouring the newly-released Mueller report, Fox hosted Trump attorney Giuliani for 24 minutes of more prebuttal sycophancy.
Instead of challenging Giuliani, host Bret Baier validated him. “There’s a lot that we don’t know about the early part of the investigation” Baier said. He expressed hope that Trump’s lackey, Attorney General William Barr, will “look into all that.”
Later, Giuliani went on to suggest that the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the Russians was a Fusion GPS/Hillary Clinton set up:
GIULIANI: That meeting was a set-up. I mean, the day before the meeting the Russian woman, Natalia [Veselnitskaya], met with the person who ran Fusion GPS. Boy, that's a coincidence, right? And this guy testified under oath they never talked about the meeting they were going to have the next day. And then she met with him the day of the meeting and then she met with him the day after the meeting. They set up the meeting on the pretext that it's going to be about dirt on Hillary. Nobody has any dirt on Hillary. They don't talk about dirt on Hillary. They talk about the Magnitsky Act and Russian adoptions. And then they walk out and they never really seriously call back and follow up on it. And several of them are counter-intelligence operatives. That was a pure set-up, that meeting.
None of the hosts noted the flimsiness of the accusation. Nor did anyone question why Donald Trump Jr. attended would have attended a meeting with Russians promising dirt on Clinton under any circumstance.
Not long after, Chris Wallace prodded for more conspiracy theorizing about the Mueller “frame up” by asking, “What do you think was the start of the investigation and what do you think was the genesis for the start of the investigation?”
That’s when Giuliani really jumped the shark. From the Media Matters transcript:
GIULIANI: I have, for about six months, questioned whether that flimsy little allegation that the Russians had dirt on Hillary could start this gigantic investigation, could allow the Department of Justice to put under investigation a presidential candidate of a major party, not warn him about it or tell him that maybe he is being invaded or intruded. Since the electronic surveillance was obtained with an affidavit that has several serious perjurious statements, including not describing the Steele affadavit correctly -- or the Steele dossier correctly, those warrants are illegal. They were obtained under false pretenses with false statements. So, to say that they were spying on him, you know, you could say it a couple of ways: unauthorized or illegal electronic surveillance, or surveillance that could be declared to be illegal because there were false statements, about four or five of them, in the affidavit. So I don't know where it started.
Rather than challenge any of Giuliani’s salacious insinuations, Wallace pressed for even more. Giuliani had just said he didn’t know where the investigation started, but now he saw the door was open to theorize even more wildly and he seized the opportunity.
GIULIANI: I think it started before the first meeting with Papadopoulos. I think [Joseph] Mifsud, the diplomat -- Malta, I think? From Malta? The diplomat from Malta who has a counter-intelligence background who planted -- I mean this information didn't come from Papadopoulos. He met with a guy in Italy who turns out to be a counter-intelligence operative, either Maltese or Italian. They tell him, this guy tells him oh, the Russians have dirt on Hillary. And then a month later another guy, an Australian operative walks in on him in London, gets him around to that subject and he gives the information to him and then they record it as if it comes from Papadopoulos. But it was fed to Papadopoulos. I don't know, Chris. I used to do this -- sounds like a counter intelligence trap to me. Where does it go back before that? I have my suspicions.
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait. Are you suggesting that the whole thing was a set-up from the very start --
GIULIANI: No, oh --
WALLACE: -- by intelligence officials to try to frame Donald Trump?
GIULIANI: I don't know who. I don't know who. Somebody -- it wasn't just an accident that Mifsud met with him and gave him the information and then they ran somebody into him to pick it up after. I do not have sufficient information or evidence to feel secure in telling you anything beyond that, except -- in fact all I have beyond that are a couple of hypotheses. But we’ll have to see if a good investigation can ferret that out. I think it’s sure worth it. I think they’ll find something.
Although it’s not in the Fox video above, the hosts suddenly cut off the discussion at that point, as if Giuliani had finally crossed a conspiracy-theory bridge that was too far even for them. Giuliani was clearly taken by surprise by the sudden ending as he kept talking for a while. And the hope was expressed he’d come back and tell more. You can see that snippet in the video below. Both are from the April 18, 2019 America’s Newsroom.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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