President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-Russia ambassador: Trump has done more damage to NATO in months than Russia has in decades Trump takes credit for increased defense spending by NATO allies, but says ‘it isn’t nearly enough’ Trump questions how Russia probe can ‘proceed’ given FBI agent’s private comments MORE‘s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Thursday night that an interview between the president and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE‘s team is “probably further away” than before.
Giuliani made the comments during a Fox News interview while reacting to FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok’s testimony before a joint House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on Thursday.
“You’re a lawyer, would you walk your client into a kangaroo court with guys who donated $36,000 to his opponent, cried at her loss party, represented the scoundrel who broke the hard drive?” Giuliani asked Fox host Laura Ingraham.
“If you have an objective group of people that you could persuade, of course you would consider testifying. But if you have people that are like him … they never unraveled the taint that he created,” Giuliani added, referring to Strzok.
“To this day we don’t know the taint that he created in that investigation since he started with,” Giuliani added later.
House Republicans and Trump allies have blasted Strzok, whom they have pointed to as key in exposing what they argue is systematic bias on the part of top law enforcement officials against Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
Strzok, who told lawmakers Thursday that it was “fair to say, I’m not a fan” of Trump, defended himself from accusations of bias in the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI agent set for public House grilling Dem pollster: Clinton showed that being against Trump is not enough to win Dems call for release of Strzok interview transcript MORE‘s use of a private email server and the early stages of the Trump-Russia probe.
“Political belief does not equate to bias,” Strzok maintained under intense questioning from lawmakers about his private text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the election in which they slammed Trump and other political figures.
Trump allies have rejected that argument, as well as Strzok’s explanation for why Mueller pulled him off the probe into Russian election meddling last year after becoming aware of the private text messages.
“He should have never have been involved in the investigation,” Giuliani said of Strzok on Fox News while knocking Democrats for “stupidly defending” the controversial FBI agent during Thursday’s hearing.
“The Mueller investigation is falling apart of its own weight,” Giuliani also claimed during the interview.
Trump’s legal team has been negotiating with the special counsel’s office for months on the terms of a potential interview between Trump and investigators.
Giuliani said last week that the president will only agree to an interview with Mueller’s team if the special counsel provides evidence that Trump has committed a crime and that his testimony is necessary to complete the federal probe.