Giuliani walks back comments that alleged campaign finance violations 'not a big crime'

Rudy Giuliani, one of President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE’s personal lawyers, walked back comments he made downplaying the significance of campaign finance violations. 

Giuliani's initial comments came after Michael Cohen, a former attorney and fixer for Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison on a slew of charges. 


The charges included nondisclosure payments made to two women during Trump’s campaign that were determined to violate campaign finance laws. Cohen also said Trump directed him to make the payments to ensure adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal remained silent about alleged affairs.

“I didn’t say payments were not a big crime. I have said consistently that the Daniels and McDougall payments are not crimes and tweeted a great article yesterday making that point. If it isn’t a witch-hunt why are they pursuing a non-crime,” Giuliani tweeted Friday.

The article Giuliani’s tweet referred to is a piece from the conservative website The Daily Signal that argued that the payments did not constitute campaign finance violations.

“Nobody got killed, nobody got robbed … This was not a big crime,” Giuliani echoed in an interview with the Daily Beast on Wednesday, adding, “I think in two weeks they’ll start with parking tickets that haven’t been paid.”

Trump has maintained that he directed no criminal activity. He said in a series of tweets posted Thursday that the payments did not violate campaign finance laws and that Cohen, as his attorney, should have known if they did.

“I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called ‘advice of counsel,’ and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made,” Trump said. “Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal…Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence.”