Chris Wallace challenges Giuliani over Trump's 'no obstruction' claim: 'Mayor, that's not true'

Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceFox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel Buttigieg Fox News town hall attracts 1.1 million viewers Scarborough calls Buttigieg 'the future of the Democratic Party' MORE on Sunday challenged President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhat the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel Anti-US trade war song going viral in China MORE's attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiCohen says Trump attorney told him to say Trump Tower talks ended earlier than they did De Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Giuliani says Trump is 'doing the right thing' by resisting congressional subpoenas MORE over Trump's claim that there is now proof he did not obstruct justice in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation.

"Mayor, that’s not true," Wallace said on "Fox News Sunday." "The Mueller report makes it clear, especially on the issue of ... obstruction, that he’s leaving it to Congress."

"I agree with that," Giuliani interjected. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Good," Wallace replied before noting a passage in Mueller's report that he said "invites" Congress to look into the issue of whether Trump obstructed justice. 

"And the president, in terms of Congress, hasn’t been exonerated at all on the issue of the obstruction,” Wallace said. 

Trump made the "no obstruction" claim on Sunday morning in a tweet as well as in a speech on Thursday before the report dropped. He has also claimed "total exoneration" from Mueller, a word that is not used in the report.

But Giuliani on Sunday said that a person under investigation never gets exonerated. 

"You do not apply a standard of exoneration to anyone," Giuliani contended, calling the report infected and "warped." "Whether it’s a president in an impeachment or — you can’t exonerate. Exoneration means proving a negative."

The comments led to a back-and-forth between Wallace and Giuliani about the reasons why Mueller advised that the obstruction decision be taken up by Congress. 

"The issue is did the president obstruct justice or not," Wallace said before pointing to an example included in Mueller's report about Trump in 2017 directing former White House counsel Don McGahn to dismiss Mueller. McGahn refused to follow through on the request, according to Mueller.

"Had he done it, it would not have been obstruction of justice because there were very good reasons to fire Mueller," Giuliani responded, arguing that Mueller hired a staff that "had people that I would find very, very questionable as people that should be investigating Donald Trump."

The exchange comes just days after the Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller's report into Russian interference and Trump. Mueller did not uncover evidence to conclude that collusion occurred. 

The 400-plus-page report also noted that Mueller was unable to “conclusively determine” that no criminal conduct occurred in regard to obstruction of justice.