Giuliani says Trump ‘denied’ AT&T-Time Warner merger after DOJ insisted on independent decision

Giuliani says Trump ‘denied’ AT&T-Time Warner merger after DOJ insisted on independent decision
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's lawyer Rudy Giuliani seemed to suggest that the president had a larger role in the Justice Department's decision to block AT&T's proposed merger with Time Warner in a new interview with The Huffington Post on Friday.

In the interview, Giuliani states that Trump "denied the merger," which appears to fly in the face of months of assurances from the DOJ and the White House that Trump had no influence over the decision.

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Giuliani made the comments after being asked whether Trump had knowledge that Michael Cohen, his lawyer, had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from AT&T in the weeks after the election for consulting work on the merger.

“The president had no knowledge of it,” the former New York City mayor told HuffPost.

“Whatever lobbying was done didn’t reach the president,” he added. “He did drain the swamp ... The president denied the merger. They didn’t get the result they wanted.”

Trump frequently railed against the AT&T merger on the campaign trail, calling it bad for the country. The telecom giant as well as a number of former DOJ officials have in recent months raised concerns about Trump's possible role behind the scenes on the lawsuit.

Giuliani was apparently attempting to echo comments made earlier in the day by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who sought to explain how the DOJ's position on the merger showed the White House and Trump administration could not be bought by outside influences.

"This further proves the president is not going to be influenced by special interests. This is actually the definition of 'draining the swamp,'" she said Friday, directing other questions to the president's outside counsel.

"I think it's pretty clear the Department of Justice opposed the merger, so the president or his administration hasn’t been influenced by any outside special interest. ... He’s going to do what he finds to be in the best interest of Americans across the country,” Sanders said.