Rudy Giuliani has made the claim on NBC while discussing Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 US election.
“When you tell me that (Trump) should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth.”
Todd argued that Trump could simply tell the truth when questioned by Mueller and his team. “Truth isn’t truth!” Giuliani fired back.
A frustrated Todd giggled in sheer disbelief and put his hand to his head. “This is going to become a bad meme,” he said.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 19, 2018
“Truth isn’t truth” and “alternative facts”
Giuliani’s comment has been compared to other statements about facts by members of the Trump administration.
In January last year Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said told Meet the Press that the White House had a right to advance “alternative facts”. Todd replied “Alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”
The comment also reminded many of Trump’s characterisation of the press as the “enemy of the people” and his comment that “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
Former FBI Director James Comey, who was infamously fired by Trump, took to Twitter to write: “truth exists and truth matters. Truth has always been the touchstone of our country’s justice system and political life.”
Truth exists and truth matters. Truth has always been the touchstone of our country’s justice system and political life. People who lie are held accountable. If we are untethered to truth, our justice system cannot function and a society based on the rule of law dissolves.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 19, 2018
Reactions to Rudy Giuliani’s comments
Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu tweeted Giuliani’s words were “another step towards authoritarianism” and reminiscent of former President Richard Nixon’s “when the president does it, that means it is not illegal” quote.
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman was one of many observers to pick up Orwellian overtones in Giuliani’s comment. He placed the quote alongside the famous words from George Orwell’s 1984, where the monolithic, authoritarian Party has created a number of maxims:
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
Truth isn’t truth.
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 19, 2018
Dictionary Merriam-Webster tweeted out the definition of ‘truth’ in the wake of Giuliani’s comments.