- Regis Duvignau/Reuters
- President Donald Trump’s outside attorney Rudy Giuliani blasted Lanny Davis, the new attorney for the president’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.
- Davis mocked Giuliani’s Sunday show appearances.
- Giuliani hit back in a text-message exchange with Business Insider, criticizing Davis’s work for former President Bill Clinton.
- “I like Michael but I don’t get hiring a flak caught lying in the past as a ‘lawyer’?????” Giuliani told Business Insider.
President Donald Trump’s outside attorney Rudy Giuliani held little back Monday morning in response to a tweet from the attorney for Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime lawyer, in which he mocked Giuliani’s Sunday show comments.
Making his first major round of interviews in weeks, Giuliani told multiple outlets that he was not concerned about Cohen possibly cooperating with the government regarding the federal criminal investigation into him. Speculation has run rampant that Cohen could soon “flip” on President Donald Trump and provide the government with damaging information on him.
Giuliani told ABC’s “This Week” that “as long as” Cohen “tells the truth, we’re home free.” Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Giuliani said he thought “it’s great” if Cohen “wants to cooperate” because he “has no evidence of, nor was he involved in anything untoward with the president.”
Those comments led to a response from Cohen’s new attorney, Lanny Davis, who is notable for his work as a special counsel and spokesperson for former President Bill Clinton during the investigation into him during his presidency.
“Did @rudygiuliani really say on Sunday shows that @michaelcohen212 should cooperate with prosecutors and tell the truth?” Davis tweeted. “Seriously? Is that Trump and Giuliani definition of ‘truth’? Trump/Giuliani next to the word ‘truth’ = oxymoron. Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters”
In a text message exchange with Business Insider, Giuliani said the real “oxymoron” regarding the truth was Davis, whom Giuliani said “had to know Clinton was lying” about whether he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern, “given Big Bill’s track record.”
“I like Michael but I don’t get hiring a flak caught lying in the past as a ‘lawyer’?????” Giuliani wrote.
- Brendan McDermid/Reuters
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired last week, Cohen split with Trump and fueled speculation that he could soon cooperate with the government regarding the criminal investigation he’s at the center of in the Southern District of New York.
When Stephanopoulos pressed Cohen about his past vow to “take a bullet” for Trump, Cohen said, “To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter, and my son and this country have my first loyalty.”
A dizzying Cohen news cycle
Davis is joining a revamped legal team led by Guy Petrillo, whom Cohen hired in June after it was reported that Cohen was breaking up with existing his legal team.
Petrillo, a partner at Petrillo Klein & Boxer, has extensive experience in the Southern District of New York, which is something Cohen reportedly sought. Experts told Business Insider Petrillo was the kind of lawyer a person would choose if he or she were seeking to cut a deal with prosecutors.
“Once I understand what charges might be filed against me, if any at all, I willdefer=”defer”to my new counsel, Guy Petrillo, for guidance,” Cohen told ABC News.
Cohen, who worked for Trump over the past decade, is under investigation for possible campaign-finance violations, bank fraud, wire fraud, illegal lobbying, or other crimes. The FBI raided his home, office, and hotel room in April, seizing roughly 4 million documents from the attorney.
Cohen has started to distance himself from Trump in recent weeks, criticizing the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, hinting through his friends that he might cooperate with the government and provide information about the president, and causing a dizzying news cycle after being photographed with Tom Arnold, an outspoken anti-Trump comedian.
Trump, meanwhile, has distanced himself from Cohen too, suggesting that the investigation has far more to do with Cohen’s business dealings than anything Cohen did for the president.
On Monday, sources close to Cohen told CNN that the attorney had a message for Giuliani and Trump: “The truth is not you or your client’s friend.”
Davis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.