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News Wrap: Giuliani comments raise new questions about collusion by Trump campaign

In our news wrap Thursday, President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, seemed to reverse himself on CNN Wednesday night, claiming he "never said there was no collusion between the [Trump] campaign" and Russia. He sought to clarify his remarks on Thursday. Also, Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer, admitted he paid a tech company to boost Trump's standing in online polls.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Comments by President Trump's personal attorney raised new questions about whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.

    Rudy Giuliani had previously dismissed the idea. But, on CNN last night, he seemed to reverse himself.

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign.

  • Chris Cuomo:

    Yes, you have.

  • Rudy Giuliani:

    I have no idea if they're — I have not. I said the president of the United States.

    There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Today, Giuliani sought to clarify the comments.

    In a statement, he insisted again there was no collusion of any kind involving Mr. Trump. As for the campaign, he said — quote — "I have no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign."

    Mr. Trump himself has repeatedly denied that there was collusion with the Russians.

    The president's former lawyer, meanwhile, Michael Cohen, now admits that he paid a technology company to falsely boost Mr. Trump's standing in two online public opinion polls. The rigged polls appeared before the Trump presidential bid began.

    Michael Cohen tweeted today, confirming a Wall Street Journal story. He said he acted at Mr. Trump's direction.

    A judge in Chicago today acquitted three current and former police officers of a cover-up in the killing of a black man, Laquan McDonald. He was shot 16 times by a white officer in 2014. The defendants listened today as Judge Domenica Stephenson ruled that there wasn't enough evidence to prove conspiracy, misconduct and obstruction of justice.

    Former Officer Jason Van Dyke has already been convicted of McDonald's murder. He's due to be sentenced tomorrow.

    In Syria, the U.S.-led coalition unleashed intensive new airstrikes today against Islamic State fighters. They targeted Deir el-Zour province, the last ISIS stronghold in the country's east. Just yesterday, an ISIS suicide bombing killed four Americans in Syria. Last month, President Trump announced that U.S. forces will be leaving Syria.

    Spain reports a new surge in migrants crossing from Africa. More than 472 were rescued in the last two days. Many were brought to Malaga, where they were screened by the Red Cross. Attempted crossings to Europe as a whole are at a five-year-low.

    Back in this country, Michigan State University ousted its interim president today, after he said some sexual abuse victims at the school enjoyed the spotlight. John Engler was dismissed a week before his resignation would have taken effect. The chair of the university's trustees said today that Engler's comments don't reflect the school's values.

  • Dianne Byrum:

    MSU's been working hard to make needed improvements regarding the prevention of and the response to sexual misconduct and relationship violence, as well as enhancing patient care and safety. But none of our work will matter if our leaders say hurtful things and do not listen to survivors.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Hundreds of girls and women have said that former sports doctor Larry Nassar molested them at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. He is now serving what amounts to life in prison.

    Republican Congressman Tom Marino of Pennsylvania will step down next week to take a job in the private sector. Today's announcement came two months after he easily won reelection to a fifth term. Marino was an early supporter of President Trump and was nominated by him to be the administration drug czar. But he withdrew after reports that he had played a key role in making it easier for drug companies to distribute opioids.

    On Wall Street, stocks rallied on reports that the Trump administration might consider scaling back tariffs on Chinese goods. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 163 points to close at 24370. The Nasdaq rose more than 49 and the S&P 500 added nearly 20.

    And a major American poet, Mary Oliver, has died. She passed away today at her home in Florida. Oliver authored more than 15 poetry and essay collections, and was known for her odes to nature. She won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, among many other honors. Mary Oliver was 83 years old.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": the president announces a plan to boost missile defense, including possibly in space; how the shutdown is affecting the availability of food stamps; the curse of bigness, making sense of industries dominated by a few giant companies; and much more.

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