Change in the Company Line: Trump Echoes Giuliani's Claim That Collusion With Russia Is Not a Crime

Donald Trump and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani exit the clubhouse following their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

The sun had barely risen on the East Coast, on Tuesday, before the president got his hands on his phone to tweet the same words that just came out of Rudy Giuliani’s mouth: “Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion ...”


See, on Monday, Giuliani was doing one of his usual ham-fisted television appearances on CNN where he casually dropped this gem: that a president colluding with Russia wasn’t a crime. It was an unusual comment to make considering the firm company line for months had been that there was no collusion with Russia.

It’s also odd that on the first day of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s trial—in which he faces “charges on 18 counts of violating tax and banking laws” in special counselor Robert Mueller’s “investigation into Russian election interference in 2016” the company line has switched from “There was no collusion!” to “Collusion is not a crime!”

Does this mean that the Trump administration is worried? Most likely they are not. But it’s interesting to note the change of direction here.


While the president and the worst lawyer to ever lawyer, Giuliani, are not technically wrong, it doesn’t change the fact that a person found guilty of working with Russia to influence the election can be charged with other crimes.

Here’s how CNN’s Carrie Cordero, a CNN legal analyst and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, explained it some months ago:

Collusion isn’t a crime “in the literal sense” but that there could be related criminal violations in colluding, such as receiving foreign money in a political campaign or assisting with or being an accessory to computer hacking.


CNN also notes that the president of people believe who believe tuxedo t-shirts are funny, and the lawyer whose bottom teeth look like calcified butter bits, were ruthlessly bashing Mueller on Twitter claiming that he needs to expose an unnamed “contentious business relationship” that should prevent him from investigating Russia.

“On Monday, Giuliani called on Mueller to “be a man” and disclose the alleged conflict of interest, though the former New York City mayor said he “wasn’t aware of what it was,” CNN reports.


It appears that things are heating up.

Remember the first rule in understanding the Trump administration is akin to understanding a teen: If he’s tweeting that means somethings bothering him. Russia is bothering Trump and not in a “Hey Russian hookers, can you all pee on these bed sheets” kind of way.


It’s a subtle shift in language but a significant shift in tone and it’s bizarre even for this backwards-ass administration.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.