Lieu: Giuliani saying 'truth isn’t truth' is another step toward 'authoritarianism'

Lieu: Giuliani saying 'truth isn’t truth' is another step toward 'authoritarianism'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Rudy Giuliani's argument that he's hesitant to allow President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE to interview with the special counsel because "truth isn't truth" harkens back to former President Nixon's defense of his actions during the Watergate scandal.

"The statement by Rudy Giuliani that 'truth isn't truth' is another step towards authoritarianism. It also reminds us of Nixon's defense that 'when the president does it, that means it is not illegal,' " Lieu tweeted.

Lieu, who is one of Trump's most frequent critics in the House, urged voters to use Giuliani's remarks as motivation to go to the polls in November's midterm elections.

Giuliani, who is Trump's personal lawyer in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia investigation, appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, where he attempted to explain the reasoning behind drawn-out negotiations between Trump's legal team and Mueller's team over a potential interview.

"I’m not going to be rushed into having him testify so he gets trapped into perjury," Giuliani said. "And when you tell me that he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because that’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth."

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"Truth is truth,” anchor Chuck Todd responded.

"No it isn’t," Giuliani said. "Truth isn’t truth."

"Mr. Mayor … this is going to become a bad meme," Todd interjected.

Giuliani explained that he's skeptical of having Trump speak with Mueller because the special counsel may believe former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyRosenstein: My time at DOJ is 'coming to an end' Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump FBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it MORE or another witness's account of events if it contradicts the president.

Trump's legal team and Mueller's team have been locked in a months-long back-and-forth over a potential interview with the president. Trump has maintained he'd like to speak with investigators, but his lawyers have voiced concerns he could perjure himself.

Giuliani earlier this month rejected Mueller's latest offer for interview terms, which included limiting questions about potential obstruction of justice.

Trump has repeatedly decried Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” He has in recent days accused Mueller of having a conflict of interest, though he has not provided evidence of specifics.