President Donald Trump's personal attorney delivered another doozy of a soundbite Tuesday night, telling CNN's Chris Cuomo that "nowadays" facts "are in the eye of the beholder."
Rudy Giuliani made the comment while defending Trump's harsh words for former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. Cuomo said other presidents faced criticism and adversity without resorting to insults.
"Maybe nobody has been as honest as him," Giuliani said.
"If fact-counting is anything, we've never had anybody with the level of mendacity that he has," Cuomo replied. "Not even close."
"It's in the eye of the beholder," said a chuckling Giuliani.
"No, facts are not in the eye of the beholder," Cuomo said, shaking his finger.
"Yes, they are," Giulini said. "Nowadays they are."
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Whether intended in humor or not, the former New York mayor's remark feeds into a perception among critics that the Trump administration often rejects objective facts and tries to confuse the public about what is true.
Trump's rejection of facts dates back at least to his refusal to accept that former President Barack Obama was a U.S. citizen despite being presented with conclusive evidence.
The perception that a fast and loose attitude toward reality followed Trump, and his staff, into the White House was sparked just after Trump took office. Press secretary Sean Spicer asserted that Trump's inaugural crowd was "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period," when photos showed the crowd in Washington was much smaller than the one present for Obama's inauguration.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway famously defended Spicer's assertion by saying he was working with "alternative facts."
Giuliani also repeated his statement that Trump did not speak to former FBI Director James Comey about the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, contradicting Comey's claims.