In a news report sure to be ignored by Fox News’ prime time Trump sycophants, FNC correspondent John Roberts all but called Rudy Giuliani a liar for telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “I never said there was no collusion between the [Trump] campaign” and Russia.
Giuliani’s contentious and shocking interview with Cuomo last night was treated as a bombshell by both CNN and MSNBC but ignored by Trump’s favorite morning show. However, by the time Shepard Smith Reporting rolled around this afternoon, Fox was not just ready to discuss it but to fact check the claims.
Roberts began his report with a clip from Cuomo's interview with Donald Trump's lawyer:
GIULIANI: I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people and the campaign.
CUOMO: Yes, you have.
GIULIANI: I have not. I said the president of the United States.
Roberts did not note that there is significance to this exchange beyond Giuliani re-writing history: It suggests that Giuliani concedes there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
However, Roberts did a great job of showing the moving collusion-goal-post.
First, Roberts quoted Giuliani in May, 2018 telling CNN’s Dana Bash “I can’t be confident that there wasn’t any collusion.” However, he was clearly talking about the possibility of collusion in the “outer orbit” only and not in Trump’s inner circle. “Nobody talked or knew about Russians,” Giuliani said then. Noting that he was part of the campaign “at a very intimate level,” he added, “You go out to the outer orbit, how do I know what’s going on? I don’t think that would matter. If there is collusion with a guy 50 rungs down, if it did, I don’t know what that means.”
But Roberts moved on to note this exchange between Giuliani and Fox News’ Guy Benson, on July 30, 2018.
BENSON: Regardless of whether or not collusion would be a crime, is it still the position of you and your client that there was no collusion with the Russians whatsoever on behalf of the Trump campaign?
Roberts underscored Giuliani's statement by reiterating “Correct.” Roberts continued, “[Giuliani] says that there was no collusion on behalf of the Trump campaign. So that would seem to broaden it out to the entire campaign and not just his client, the president of the United States.”
But Roberts wasn’t done. He noted that Trump has said “quite clearly and sometimes in all caps on Twitter” that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.
Above a banner stating, ‘TRUMP LAWYER GIULIANI: I NEVER SAID THERE WAS NO COLLUSION INVOLVING THE CAMPAIGN,” we saw a video mashup of Trump saying, “There has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians or Trump and Russians. No collusion. … There was absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it. … It’s a Democrat hoax that was brought up as an excuse for losing.”
“So are they narrowing the definition of who colluded and who didn’t?” Roberts asked rhetorically. “We report, you decide.”
What's fascinating to observe on Fox News in the Trump era is the split between most of the news division and the Trump lickspittles. This may be an example of the fissure growing a tiny bit wider. Watch it below, from the January 17, 2019 Shepard Smith Reporting. Underneath is the Giuliani interview from CNN’s January 16, 2019 Chris Cuomo Primetime.