"Nothing to complain about" with the Russians' acceptance campaign, Giuliani said



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Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, said on Sunday that there was "nothing wrong" with a campaign receiving information from the Russians, defending the Trump team's efforts to obtain information. damaging Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race.

"There is nothing wrong with taking information from the Russians," Giuliani said in an interview with CNN's "The State of the Union." "It depends on where they come from."

His comments provoked a reprimand from the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam B. Schiff (D-California).

"I have already said and I repeat: it is not correct to ask for Russian help in your campaign," Schiff said. says in a tweet. "It's not acceptable to use materials that they have stolen from your opponent or to incorporate them into your campaign strategy. Unfortunately, my GOP colleagues think that's okay. The American people know better. "

Giuliani was speaking three days after the publication of the report of special advocate Robert S. Mueller III on Russia's interference in the 2016 election. According to the report, Trump sought ways to take advantage of leaks of e-mails stolen during the campaign.

At a rally in July 2016, Trump expressed hope that Russia would find about 30,000 emails that Clinton had said to have deleted because of their personal nature. After that, "Trump asked individuals affiliated with his campaign to find deleted emails from Clinton," Mueller's team discovered.

The report also indicates that Trump has repeatedly ordered his associates not to disclose e-mails regarding the now-famous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, which was attended by a Russian lawyer offering negative information about Clinton.

In his interview on Sunday, Giuliani told host Jake Tapper that "any candidate around the world" would accept negative information about an opponent.

Pressed by Tapper to find out if this includes information "from a hostile foreign source", Giuliani replied, "Who said it was even illegal?"

Giuliani however said that he would probably not have accepted the information provided by the Russians about an opponent during his own presidential campaign in 2008.

"I probably would not do it, we did not ask," he said.

The details in the Mueller report sparked a wave of criticism from Democrats. But Republicans largely remained silent or defended Trump – with the exception of Senator Mitt Romney (Utah), who criticized the president and his campaign aides in a very clear statement released on Twitter on Friday.

"I am disgusted by the scale and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misapprehensions on the part of those in the highest positions in the country, including the president," Romney said.

The 2012 GOP presidential candidate said he was "dismayed" that Trump's campaign associates had "welcomed Russia's help," and called the report "revealing that gives to reflect on the fact that we have moved away from the aspirations and principles of the founders ".

Romney's reaction was much more critical than statements by some of his Republican colleagues, including Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Rob Portman (Ohio).

In a statement Friday, Portman said he was "delighted" that the report was made public and that he "confirmed several key facts consistent with the summary findings of Attorney General William Barr". Portman said that although the report "documents a number of actions taken by the president or his aides as inappropriate, the special council did not reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice."

Collins expressed concern over Trump's attempts to fire Mueller, as stated in the report, which she described as "very thorough".

"Not only was he very upset by the special council's investigations, but he had repeatedly tried through intermediaries to stop these investigations." unflattering representation of the president, "she said Friday in an interview with Maine Public Radio.

Asked about Romney's criticism of Trump on Sunday, Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah made no mention of the president in his initial response, referring instead to the fact that former President Barack Obama dealt with relations between Russia and the United States.

"First, I think Senator Romney has some credibility with Russia," Lee said in CBS News' "The Face of the Nation", highlighting Romney's warnings about Russia at the time. of the 2012 presidential campaign. "Unfortunately, his warnings were ignored. And under the leadership of President Obama over the next four years, Russia's activities, its damaging efforts to undermine our system, have continued. "

When asked if he agreed with Romney about Trump in light of Mueller's findings, Lee said nothing in this report changed my view of this president.

Shane Harris and Tom Hamburger contributed to this report.

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