But Giuliani's statements have been inconsistent and have failed to rally the president's media boosters, who often lionize his fiercest surrogates and embrace their talking points.
Speaking with Hannity, the former New York mayor said Trump “did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this,” making Trump's ignorance plea appear increasingly suspect.
On “Fox & Friends” the next morning, Giuliani asked viewers to imagine if Daniels had gone public “in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.” His remark suggested the payment was designed to help Trump's electoral prospects and undermined the position that Cohen's initial outlay should not be viewed as an illegal, in-kind campaign contribution.
On Friday afternoon, Giuliani issued a statement “intended to clarify the views I expressed over the past few days.
“My references to timing were not describing my understanding of the president's knowledge,” he said, “but instead my understanding of these matters.”
He attempted to undo his own suggestion that the election was a consideration, saying that “the payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family. It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”
Ingraham did not mention Giuliani's cleanup effort on her Friday telecast. Hannity also ignored it on his show, and Tucker Carlson did the same.
On Glenn Beck's radio show Friday, the conservative Trump critic charitably posited that Giuliani had pulled a “brilliant move” by revealing the president's reimbursement before it leaked.
“Well, I don't know about that,” replied Bill O'Reilly, the former Fox News host who appeared as a guest on the program.
O'Reilly often defends Trump, but he rejected Giuliani's contention that the payment to Daniels was unrelated to the campaign.
“They gave her a little bit of money because it was coming close to the presidential election, and they didn't want this woman running around with her attorney,” O'Reilly said. “So that's what happened.”
After Giuliani appeared Sunday on ABC's “This Week,” the Christian Broadcasting Network described “new controversies for President Trump after his attorney Rudy Giuliani tried to defend him again on TV”:
Giuliani was also doing damage control after his comments last week about the Stormy Daniels accusations. Giuliani had revealed the president repaid his personal attorney for a $130,000 hush payment to the porn star, despite the president denying he knew of the payment.
Giuliani now says he's not actually aware of when the president learned about the payment to Daniels.
CBN Chairman Pat Robertson once told the president, “I'm so proud of everything you're doing,” but Robertson's network is not pretending the holes in Giuliani's shifting accounts are not there.
The Daily Caller on Monday highlighted sharp criticism of Giuliani by MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman, who said Giuliani has “completely blown up every timeline — every timeline of lies that Donald Trump has laid out before.”
Giuliani told The Washington Post on Sunday that Trump still has confidence in him, but the faith of Trump's media backers is not so strong.