Donald Trump’s lawyer claims he “never said there was no collusion” between Russia and members of the president’s 2016 campaign.
The comments, made by Rudy Giuliani on CNN, directly contradict his client, who has repeatedly said there was “no collusion”.
Mr Giuliani said the idea of Russia collusion was “total fake news”.
There is No Collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
He said there is “not a single bit of evidence” tying Mr Trump to Russian influence, even if someone else in the campaign did something wrong.
He said: “There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.”
There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap). What there is is Negotiations going on with North Korea over Nuclear War, Negotiations going on with China over Trade Deficits, Negotiations on NAFTA, and much more. Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2018
The comments came after Mr Giuliani was asked about court papers which revealed Paul Manafort, a former campaign chairman, had shared polling data with an associate the US has tied to Russian intelligence.
It is not clear if Mr Giuliani was reflecting a new position from the Trump legal team or making a strategic attempt to get ahead of what could be damaging findings from the investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mr Mueller has charged 33 people, including five associates of Mr Trump and 32 Russians accused of interfering in the election either through hacking or in a hidden social media campaign aimed at swaying the opinion of the US public.
Mr Giuliani said the Trump legal team has told Mr Mueller the president will not answer any additional questions from prosecutors.
He has so far only answered a limited number of questions, and in writing.
The president’s lawyers have refused to allow Mr Trump to be interviewed face-to-face or be questioned about potential obstruction of justice or actions he took as president.
Last month, Mr Giuliani told Fox News that any interview would only happen “over my dead body“.
He added: “But, you know, I could be dead.”
Mr Mueller, a former FBI director, is investigating alleged ties between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
He is reportedly interested in interviewing the president as part of the inquiry.