Trump on Giuliani: He'll get his facts straight

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE on Friday called his new personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, a “great guy,” but suggested he may have gotten details wrong about a payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, which she says was made to keep her from speaking about an alleged affair with Trump.

“He started yesterday,” Trump incorrectly said of Giuliani, who was hired on April 19. “He’ll get his facts straight. He’s a great guy.”

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Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, Trump said the former New York City mayor is “working hard, he’s learning the subject matter and he’s going to be issuing a statement, too.”

Trump said Giuliani shares his opinion that criminal investigations swirling around his presidency are a “witch hunt.”

Giuliani just one day earlier said Trump reimbursed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, contradicting the president’s previous claim that he did not know anything about the payment.

Giuliani said Trump only learned recently about the purpose of the payment, which was made in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

Trump backed up Giuliani’s account in a series of tweets Thursday morning. That night, Giuliani told NBC News he coordinated his remarks with Trump, who he said agreed with the decision to reveal the reimbursement. 

"You're not going to see daylight between the president and me," the former mayor said. "We're going to work hard to have a consistent strategy."
 
But now, Trump appears to be walking that account back, adding even more confusion about the payment that has dogged his presidency.

“Rudy had just started and he wasn’t totally familiar with everything,” Trump said later at Joint Base Andrews when asked about Giuliani’s comments.

Trump insisted “we’re not changing any stories” and urged reporters to go back to his statements early last month, when he flatly denied knowing about the payment and claimed he had no knowledge of the source of the money.

"No," Trump said when asked by a reporter if he knew about the Daniels payment. 

When a reporter asked why the payment was made, the president responded, "you'll have to ask Michael Cohen."

The White House has been under siege since Giuliani’s disclosure, with a stream of negative headlines about how the conflicting statements have undermined its credibility.

The payment is also the subject of a federal criminal investigation into Cohen, which the president’s allies fear could put him at grave legal risk. Investigators are examining whether the hush money constituted a campaign-finance violation.

--Updated at 11:35 a.m.