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Trump Advisers Urge President to Bench Rudy Giuliani, Bar Lawyer From Appearing on TV: Report

President Donald Trump's advisers are reportedly urging him to bench his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and prevent him from making televised appearances following his hapless performances of late.

According to The Associated Press, citing sources in and close to the White House, Trump is irritated by Giuliani’s recent mistakes, involving bombshell statements rapidly followed by confusing backtracking. The president reportedly thinks they distracted from what he views as vindication after an explosive BuzzFeed report was later brought into question.

The ordeal has caused some of Trump’s advisers to urge the president to pull Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, from television appearances, though there is not a push for the lawyer to be fired, the AP reported. 

Moreover, Republicans close to the White House told the AP they believe Giuliani may be appearing on TV after drinking alcohol, so he should be banned from evening appearances on news shows.

Read more: "Wait, what tapes…?" Rudy Giuliani reveals he's heard taped evidence in Trump-Russia investigation

The White House and Giuliani did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office took the unusual step of disputing a report by BuzzFeed. Normally, Mueller does not comment on media reports. Citing two anonymous federal investigators, BuzzFeed reported that Mueller’s Russia investigation uncovered evidence showing Trump directed his former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about his business dealings in Moscow.

Mueller’s office described the report as “inaccurate.” This was seized on by Trump and his allies, who accused BuzzFeed—which stands by its reporting—of spreading “fake news” and misinformation against the president.

Meanwhile, Giuliani made headlines of his own. The lawyer recently tackled questions regarding the timeline for a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. He told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that Trump was involved in talks about the business deal throughout the 2016 general election—which would have been as he simultaneously pushed for the lifting of sanctions against Russia and called on its government to expose the emails of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. 

Giuliani then issued a statement on Monday saying his comments "were hypothetical and not based on conversations I had with the President. My comments did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any such discussions." 

Read more: MSNBC panel savages Rudy Giuliani: "worst lawyer ever," "he should be disbarred," doesn't understand "anything"

Then, in an interview with The New Yorker, when asked about the BuzzFeed story, Giuliani revealed that he had listened to tapes.

“I can tell you, from the moment I read the story, I knew the story was false. Because I have been through all the tapes, I have been through all the texts, I have been through all the emails, and I knew none existed,” he said.

The New Yorker asked: "Wait, what tapes have you gone through?"

Giuliani replied, “I shouldn’t have said 'tapes.' They alleged there were texts and emails that corroborated that Cohen was saying the president told him to lie. There were no texts, there were no e-mails, and the president never told him to lie.”

Trump’s lawyer then clarified that he had listened to tapes “but none of them concern this.”

Just before the media fallout from the BuzzFeed article, Giuliani told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he “never said there was no collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign, a focus of the Mueller investigation, just that the president would not necessarily be aware of it because thousands of people worked to get him elected.

This is despite President Trump’s repeated and frustrated insistence that there was no collusion with Russia. Giuliani has also in the past said there was no collusion.

Giuliani told Politico that he and Trump have known each other for 30 years "and I haven't heard him complain. And nobody in the White House would complain to me. They just do it behind my back.”

He added: "I do have a mastery of the facts, which is why I can spin them honestly, argue them several different ways... The problem is people don’t understand, or people don’t want to understand, alternative arguing, which is what you do in court all the time. People who want to understand it, do."

This article has been updated with another comment from Rudy Giuliani.

rudy giuliani donald trump President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani at the White House July 9, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Trump is reportedly frustrated by Giuliani's recent media gaffes. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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