20:57 GMT +316 August 2018
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    Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (File)

    Democrats Cheer Amid Speculation That Trump May Plead the Fifth in Russia Probe

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    Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani's statement that the president might assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination in the FBI probe into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election has prompted Trump's opponents to brand the president guilty.

    Speaking to ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Giuliani said that the president has no obligation to cooperate with special counsel Robert Meuller's probe. 

    "Well, we don't have to. He's the president of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have," he said. Giuliani added that he would advise against a sit down with Meuller, despite Trump's openness to the idea. "I've got a client who wants to testify…I hope we get a chance to tell him the risk he's taking."

    Asked whether Trump could plead the Fifth Amendment, his constitutionally guaranteed right to decline answering questions which might incriminate him, Giuliani said he couldn't be sure. "How could I ever be confident of that?" he said.

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    Giuliani's remarks clash with Trump's earlier statement on the campaign trail against Democratic staffers who invoked their right to plead the Fifth during the Congressional investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's illegal use of a private email server. "The mob takes the Fifth Amendment. If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" Trump asked at the time.

    Giuliani's remarks instantly prompted Trump's opponents to throw his words back at him.

    Giuliani, who became Trump's lawyer last month, added to the president's troubles this week when he implied that the president had repaid former lawyer Michael Cohen's $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, with whom Trump is alleged to have had an affair. The former New York City mayor's tendency to put his foot in his mouth prompted some Twitter users to question his "lawyering" skills.

    Trump has called claims that he colluded with Russia a "witch hunt." Earlier this year, a House Intelligence Committee investigation concluded that it had not found any evidence to suggest that the presidential candidate had colluded with Russia. It did allege however that Moscow attempted to influence the vote through cyberattacks and by seeking to influence social media users. Russian officials have brushed aside claims of 'meddling', calling the charges "absurd" and pointing to a lack of evidence.

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    alleged collusion, fifth amendment rights, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, United States
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