White House close to refusing interview with Russian Federation investigation

James Comey

James Comey

Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that President Donald Trump would only submit to an interview with Robert Mueller if the special counsel could show a "factual basis" for the Russian Federation investigation, which he characterized as corrupt.

Cohen, who hasn't been charged, wouldn't say if he would cooperate with prosecutors in the probe.

A day after he tweeted "I will always protect my POTUS" in April, the FBI raided his home, office and hotel room as part of a probe by federal prosecutors in NY into his business dealings.

"As long as he tells the truth", said Mr. Giuliani, "We're home free". "We have - we have no reason to believe he did anything wrong".

Former federal prosecutor and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy said Giuliani is implementing a smart strategy because the Mueller probe has always been about public opinion, and a new Washington Post-Schar School poll shows Americans are increasingly disapproving of the way Mueller has handled the Russian Federation probe.

Trump fixer Michael Cohen is not necessarily the president's friend anymore, according to CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger. "I put family and country first".

The investigation, headed by former FBI director Robert Mueller, has widely been expected to wind up in the next few months - possibly after a Mueller interview with Trump - but Giuliani said such a meeting now seemed increasingly unlikely.

Giuliani said, "If the president says, 'I fired him for the good of the United States, '" it was justification enough.

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"I don't know what he has to flip over", Giuliani said.

That charge by lawyer Rudy Giuliani came a day after Trump himself launched a fresh attack on the investigation, assailing it in successive Twitter messages as a "Rigged Witch Hunt" and a "Democrat Con Job!"

Cohen has scrubbed a reference of his long-time representation of Trump from professional credentials, saying recently, "My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will", not the president. "Or is there a factual basis for this?"

When asked about lead investigator Mueller, Giuliani said: 'I do not think he's corrupt [but] he's surrounded by biased people.

He said Giuliani is taking public positions - such as setting conditions for a possible Trump-Mueller interview - because he realizes that this case is playing out in the court of public opinion. Cohen told the New York Times he paid adult actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his personal account to keep her from revealing details of her alleged affair with the president.

Trump has said he does not see Cohen turning against him.

Stephanopoulos said he asked Cohen repeatedly if he was considering cooperating with prosecutors in their investigation.

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