President Donald Trump should not be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team because "truth isn't truth," his lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday.
Giuliani appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and made this comment after host Chuck Todd asked about the Trump team's response to Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Giuliani said that he was concerned that President Trump would get "trapped into perjury" in an interview by giving his version of the truth.
"And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry — well, that’s so silly, because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth," Giuliani said.
When Todd pointed out that such a claim was absurd, Giuliani doubled down: "Truth isn't truth," he said.
This is the latest of a series of suggestions, regularly offered by President Trump or an associate of Trump's, that objective facts do not exist, as a way to defend the president or the administration.
President Trump himself describes news reports that are critical of him or the administration as "fake news."
Just last month, speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Kansas City, President Trump told the group: "Just stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people — the fake news."
"What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” Trump said.
Veteran CBS reporter Lesley Stahl has said that president-elect Trump in 2016 told her off camera that his attacks on the media were designed to put doubt in the minds of his supporters, when and if negative stories about him or his administration are published. Stahl recounted the event at a journalism award event in May.
"I said, 'You know, this is getting tired. Why are you doing it over and over? It's boring and it's time to end that. You know, you've won ... Why do you keep hammering at this?'" Stahl recounted telling Trump at the time.
"And he said: 'You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.'"
Soon after President Trump's inauguration in 2017, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted that there had been a record-breaking turnout, despite photographs proving otherwise. At the time, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told Todd that Spicer was simply providing the public with "alternative facts."
"Wait a minute. Alternative facts? Alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods," Todd responded to Conway in January 2017.