Watch CNN's Chris Cuomo Grill Rudy Giuliani On Trump's False Comments, Extreme Behavior, And Refusal To Apologize

Cuomo To Giuliani: If Trump Is President Will You Constantly Have To “Come On And Say What He Actually Meant?”

From the August 11 edition of CNN's New Day:

Video file

CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): With all the legitimate angles of attack on the current state of play with ISIS and the United States, why go the route of saying that President Barack Hussein Obama, as Trump likes to remind people, founded ISIS. He didn't found ISIS. And then he says “ISIS honors Obama.” ISIS doesn't ” honor Obama." Why say those things? 

RUDY GIULIANI: Well, first of all, I think what he's saying there is legitimate political commentary, legitimate political -- 

CUOMO: But it's not true. 

GIULIANI: Well it is true in the sense that, before Obama, ISIS was an almost unknown, small little organization. He even called it the JV. Totally wrong. And here's why it happened. Because he withdrew the troops from Iraq. General Petraeus had secured the eastern part of Iraq. It wasn't in turmoil, it wasn't in revolution, it wasn't breeding terrorists. He had gotten the support of the Sunni tribes. When we pulled out and the Obama administration and our secretary of state were unable to get a security of forces agreement for our troops, that's when ISIS formed. 

CUOMO: That's a legitimate argument to make. But he doesn't make that argument. He says the guy's a founder --

GIULIANI: That's what he means by it. 

CUOMO: He doesn't make a legitimate argument about the Second Amendment. He says, “oh, maybe you guys can go and do something.” He makes a joke that winds up becoming the story. 

GIULIANI: It wasn't a joke. I was with him, it wasn't a joke. He --

CUOMO: Well you don't -- you're not saying he had serious intentions about encouraging “Second Amendment people” to do something bad?

GIULIANI: Of course not. Of course not. No more than Hillary Clinton had eight years ago when she said she was going to stay in the race, because remember, Kennedy was assassinated. 

CUOMO: You know what she did after she said that? She apologized. 

GIULIANI: Well, because she was wrong. 

CUOMO: Why didn't he apologize?

GIULIANI: Because he wasn't wrong. 

CUOMO: How was he not wrong? To encourage people with the Second Amendment, which means they have guns, that maybe you can do something?

GIULIANI: Chris. Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris. He didn't encourage them to do that. He was saying, “don't vote for her.” It's the Clinton spin machine --

CUOMO: No. 

GIULIANI: That interpretation of it --

CUOMO: I'm not part of the “Clinton spin machine” and you know that. 

GIULIANI: But you accepted it. You're accepting it. 

CUOMO: No, here's what I accept, the context I accept. He didn't say, “during the election.” He says, “if she picks the judges, it’s over. You can't do anything. Well, maybe you can.” That's after she's elected. You only pick judges if you're president. That's not about voting. 

GIULIANI: OK, let's play lawyer and play language interpretation. Well, maybe you can, it can be a reflection on the thought you had before, which is, “well, maybe” -- 

CUOMO: Come on. You know what the problem is. Why have to explain what comes out of the man's mouth every two seconds?

GIULIANI: I'm going to tell you, because you don't give him a fair shot. You take his words and parse them and you take them apart. I was on the plane with him when they called him and they said to him, “they are accusing you of saying kill Hillary Clinton.” He said, “what? I didn't say that.” What I said was -- 

CUOMO: He didn't say that. You're right. I never said he did. 

GIULIANI: He said, “I said 'don't vote for her.'”  

CUOMO: He said something clumsy that was open to misinterpretation.

GIULIANI: If you want to misinterpret it. But, on the other hand --

CUOMO: The guy behind him didn't get the message --

GIULIANI: The guy behind him had actually stroked his chin even before he said it. I went and looked at the tape five times. 

CUOMO: I looked at it too, he also looks at his wife and he makes a face where he goes, “Oh, can you believe he said that?”  

GIULIANI: Yeah, yeah. How about he could have said -- you don't know what he said. How about he said, “oh, wow, we can go vote.” That is what Donald Trump meant. 

CUOMO: He did not say that. He did an interview on CNN yesterday where he said, “I can't believe he said it.” Let's play what Trump said for everybody else. Because, you're right, it shouldn't be a legal argument between us, you're going to win every time. Here's what Trump said. 

GIULIANI: It's really outrageous --

[...]

“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is,” could mean, “you can vote against her.” That is exactly what he meant. That is exactly what he meant. 

CUOMO: It was open to interpretation. 

GIULIANI: If you want to accept the Hillary Clinton -- the first people that put it out, because we got it from them, the first people that put it out, I got a call on the phone, was from the Hillary Clinton spin machine, and then all of you jumped on it, and it was the biggest story yesterday. 

CUOMO: First of all, I don't think that he was inciting violence, but it's part of a pattern. 

GIULIANI: It's part of your pattern. 

CUOMO: No.

GIULIANI: It's the press' pattern. 

CUOMO: No, I don't control what comes out of his mouth. The man has blacklisted me. He won't come on this show because he doesn't like answering questions about what he says. 

GIULIANI: Chris, Chris, Chris, it's a pattern of the press exaggerating what he says. And yesterday we get emails that demonstrate what I've been saying for four months. That the Clinton Foundation is a fraud. The Clinton Foundation, to me, is a racketeering enterprise, and the State Department was a pay for play organization. 

CUOMO: The 44 emails that came out, we have covered here just as much as anything else. We're covering it, doesn't mean this didn't happen. 

GIULIANI: So why isn't she being investigated? De Blasio's being investigated in New York City for pay for play. 

CUOMO: I don't control who's investigated, I don't control who's investigated, my job is to cover it.

GIULIANI: Yeah but we're covering for the third day --

CUOMO: But he says, “the media's doing this to me. The media's rigged.” Do you think my coverage is rigged?

GIULIANI: No, I don't think yours is, but I think a lot of coverage is rigged. 

CUOMO: How is it rigged? This comes out of his mouth and you have to apologize for it. 

GIULIANI: I have no apologized. I said he's --

CUOMO: You come here and explain it, “well, could have meant this, could have meant that.”  

GIULIANI: No, I didn't say “could have meant that,” I'm I'm telling you didn't say words of violence. 

CUOMO: He didn't say “go out and vote,”  either did he?

GIULIUANI: No, OK, but you say things in a lot of different ways in politics, you talk for 100 hours, so you say things in a lot of ways. I was a lawyer, I argued in court, sometimes when I wanted to make a point, I might say somebody is the founder of something, when the guy is the person who helped to enable it. 

CUOMO: You had trouble with the media when you were mayor, sometimes you kept people out of press conferences. You never said the things he does, you've never said things in front of a crowd that had them start chanting, " lock them up," about the media, calling reporters liars, when he knows it's not true. 

GIULIANI: For which he steps back and says, “beat her.” Then at the convention --

CUOMO: Yeah, that's the only time. Katy Tur, from NBC, had to be escorted to her car by secret service because the crowd turned on her because he pointed at her and said, “she's a liar, remember that. She's a liar.” President of the United States? 

GIULIANI: Look, look, the coverage is not fair. If you can't see that, I can't help you see it. 

CUOMO: No politician likes the media. No politician says the media is fair to them. 

GIULIANI: Nobody, nobody, nobody brought up Hillary's comments about Bobby Kennedy. 

CUOMO: What are you talking about? It's all over the place. It's all over the place. 

GIULIANI: No, it isn't all over the place. Not three days, front page of the newspaper. The front page of the Times yesterday didn't have the pay for play scandal. The front page of The New York Times had three articles on Donald Trump, all negative, and nothing about pay for play. 

CUOMO: Every outlet is different. I don't work at The New York Times, we have been covering it consistently. 

GIULIANI: And New York Times failed to point out in any kind of highlighted way the fact that a terrorist, and the father of a terrorist, was sitting behind Hillary Clinton, and they failed to ask the question, “what attracted him to her? What attracted that Taliban supporter” -- 

CUOMO: What attracted Mark Foley to Donald Trump. 

GIULIANI: Well, I don't know. And lots of questions were asked about that. 

CUOMO: Not as many as were asked about the Orlando father. 

GIULIANI: He was asked about Duke, about David Duke who he's never met. 

CUOMO: You don't think that's a legitimate question?

GIULIANI: Hillary hasn't been asked about the father yet. Hillary doesn't --

CUOMO: That's not true. They've been all over the campaign asking. 

GIULIANI: Her answer was thank you. Her answer was thank you.

CUOMO: You just said -- Rudy, you just said she hasn't been asked. The answer is, that's wrong. She has been asked. You know what I'm saying? I understand why you support him. I get it. But you apologize and defend for him -- 

GIULIANI: I am not apologizing -- Chris --

CUOMO: And I think it’s putting you in an awkward situation.

GIULIANI: Not for me. 

CUOMO: You're right, you don't apologize. Maybe you should, that would just make it go away. Might be the more honorable thing to do. 

GIULIANI: It wouldn't be the more honorable thing for me to lie. What he meant was --

CUOMO: Well, if you're saying it's on the media, that's not lying, but it's also not accurate. Right? I mean, I'm not saying it's lying [inaudible], but it's wrong. 

GIULIANI: The media took words that were not violent words, and the media interpreted them as violent words. Those words are not violent words.

CUOMO: Not just the media, other people interpreted them that way, and why? Because of the pattern. Because of the pattern. This is what the man does. He says things that are either casual or hyperbolic to impress the crowd, and then they go too far, and he refuses to apologize and blames the media. It's happened at least 10 times that I can name right off the top of my head. 

GIULIANI: Hillary Clinton is trying to paint a demonic picture of Donald Trump, because on the record she can't get elected because she was engaged in significant criminal activity. The emails, we know about, I think that decision was wrong --

CUOMO: She is beating him polls, some would suggest, exactly because of this behavior. That he should be winning right now, based on the mood of the country, but for his own temperament and actions of what comes out of his mouth. 

GIULIANI: I have to tell you, whatever the past was with Donald Trump and whatever he said in the past, that day, what he was talking about was voting. And what the Clinton machine and the media turned it into was violence. He didn't say words of violence. 

CUOMO: True, you know what would have said if I asked you this question. If I had said to you, “you know what the suggestion is, that you thought this,” you know what you would have said? “God forbid, I would never suggest that to people. I don't want anybody to do anything violent to anyone, let alone to Hillary Clinton. I don't want anybody to believe that. I didn't mean it. I'm sorry if someone took it that way. Let's move on.” That's what you would say. Why doesn't he say that?

GIULIANI: People are different. They can say different things. He told the truth. 

CUOMO: But it comes across like he enjoys or he think he benefits from the anger. 

GIULIANI: He wasn't trying to create anger. In one way he was, he was trying to create a feeling among Second Amendment people, you gotta keep her out of office, because if she puts a Justice on the court, they reverse Heller, the private right to bear arms are taken away. 

CUOMO: She's actually said she doesn't want to reverse Heller. And? What? What?

GIULIANI: I believe that just as much as I believe she was in favor of the [Keystone] XL Pipeline, and now she's against the [Keystone] XL Pipeline. If she's -- I would bet you anything you want that she puts a Supreme Court Justice on there. 

CUOMO: He said “she wants to abolish the Second Amendment.” We both know that is impossible. 

GIULIANI: What he means by that is, she wants to interpret it in a way that abolishes it. 

CUOMO: So, if he wins, if he becomes president of the United States, is that going to be your position, is that he goes out, he'll say things, and then you'll come on and say what he actually meant? Isn't that part of the job, knowing how to use language in a way that doesn't confuse everybody?

GIULIANI: That doesn't confuse anyone. She will effectively abolish the Second Amendment. If you reverse Heller, you effectively abolish the Second Amendment.

CUOMO: She said she doesn't think Heller should be reversed. 

GIULIANI: And I think if anybody believes that, I told you, they believe that she legitimately changed her mind over the [Keystone] XL Pipeline. 

CUOMO: Well what does one have to do with the other?

GIULIANI: What it has to do with it is, that nobody covers her in the same way that he is covered. Her flip-flip on the [Keystone] XL Pipeline got one story, one time, not three days of coverage. 

CUOMO: Who says more things that confound reason, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

GIULIANI: Hillary Clinton. 

CUOMO: On a regular basis?

GIULIANI: On a regular basis. 

CUOMO: Tapes come out of the man obviously playing his own PR machine, he says “it's not me.” The Star of David thing comes out, he says it's a sheriff's star. Why not just own things, say they're a mistake, move on, move on. 

GIULIANI: Some things he has said were a mistake. 

CUOMO: What? What? Tell me one thing he's apologized for. 

GIULIANI: He said -- he has said that it was a mistake, the things that he said about John McCain. He said that he -- John McCain was a hero, he should have acknowledged that, he should have acknowledged his heroism and his public service. He did it five months ago, he did it two months ago and he did it a week ago. 

CUOMO: That's the one example you have? I don't remember him saying, by the way, obviously we'll check, I don't remember him saying “I apologize for what I said about John McCain.”

GIULIANI: I didn't say -- I don't remember him saying I apologize. I do remember him saying, “it was a mistake.”

CUOMO:  What does that tell you, though? Wouldn't you if you said something so insulting about a veteran? 

GIULIANI: I might say it's a mistake. 

CUOMO: You wouldn't apologize? You say, “I like guys who don't get caught,” you wouldn't apologize if you said that? I don't know if you would ever say that, but. 

GIULIANI: Maybe I would if that were the proper circumstance. You asked me where is a time where he owned up to a mistake, he owned up to a mistake. 

Previously:

The Media Has A Rudy Giuliani Problem

On Fox, Rudy Giuliani Says “I Still Don’t Know Where The President Was” During Benghazi Attacks

Trump Considers Tapping Rudy Giuliani To Lead Anti-Muslim Commission