Giuliani says Trump employed Cohen because he felt 'sorry' for him

Rudy Giuliani claimed Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE kept personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenCohen says Trump attorney told him to say Trump Tower talks ended earlier than they did Cohen told lawmakers that Trump lawyer Sekulow instructed him to lie about Moscow tower project: report Stormy Daniels reaches settlement with Michael Cohen, ex-lawyer  MORE on board his legal team because he felt “sorry” for him.

“I don’t want to get him angry, I think the president felt sorry for him because he never could quite have the standing of the lawyers,” Giuliani, the former New York city mayor working as a lawyer for Trump, told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton during an interview with “Rising.”

“All of the important matters would go to other lawyers, so he’d give him things to do that were more in the nature of public relations, but some small legal matters,” he continued.

Giuliani also pushed back on claims that Cohen never asked for a presidential pardon.

“The man never asked for a pardon — perjury,” the Trump’s attorney told Hill.TV.

Cohen’s team team admitted Wednesday that he asked Trump’s lawyers about a potential presidential pardon last year after the FBI raided his home and office.

Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis issued a statement, saying that at the time Cohen was open to the “ongoing ‘dangling’ of a possible pardon by Trump representatives.”

This statement appears to contradict Cohen's sworn testimony last week, when he said that he had “never” asked for a pardon from Trump.

Following these new revelations, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget On The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls House Oversight Committee requests information on reported Trump plan to send TSA employees to border MORE (D-Md.) said Thursday that he needs to revisit Cohen’s remarks under oath before deciding whether to refer him to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.

Cohen, meanwhile, is awaiting a three-year prison sentence for financial crimes and charges related to hush money payments to women alleging to have had affairs with Trump. The president recently acknowledged the payments but claimed that the act didn't constitute a campaign finance violation. 

—Tess Bonn