Giuliani on the Russia probe: “I want the Justice Department to close this thing down”

President Trump’s new personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani — who made news Wednesday night when he said Mr. Trump repaid lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels — told CBS News he wants the Justice Department to close down the Russia investigation. 

“I want the Justice Department to close this thing down,” Giuliani told CBS News’ chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. “They (special counsel Mueller and team) don’t have a scintilla of evidence that there was collusion with the Russians to influence the election. This is a ridiculous investigation.”

Like Giuliani, Mr. Trump has continued to decry the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election meddling and any connections to the Trump campaign. Asked if there is any evidence of a conspiracy with the Russians, Giuliani responded, “I would say none.” Giuliani said there was “never any kind of agreement between Mr. Trump and the Russians to affect the election.”

Despite his criticism of the investigation, Giuliani didn’t rule out the possibility of a Trump-Mueller interview.

“I’m still open to it if we get the right conditions,” Giuliani said. “There’s no better way to end this. I joined this team with a goal of finishing this damn thing in a month or two. I don’t know if I can do that anymore in good conscience.”

Giuliani upended the news cycle Wednesday night when he said told Sean Hannity on Fox News Mr. Trump repaid Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, after Mr. Trump had said he was unaware of the payment. Giuliani told Garrett the Stormy Daniels matter is a personal, not political, matter.

“That’s a personal thing,” Giuliani said. “Not a campaign thing. Not political. It has personal ramifications for the president.”

As he did Wednesday, Giuliani defended Mr. Trump’s decision and right to fire FBI Director James Comey, claiming Mr. Trump wanted to fire him “on day one.”

“He had every right to fire Comey,” Giuliani said. “Because of Comey’s conduct. He wanted to fire him on day one. He waited.”

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