Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani doesn’t believe his “honorable, honest” friend Rupert Murdoch knew anything about the phone hacking that may have taken place in the name of his U.K. newspapers.
“Give people the presumption of innocence,” he told CNN’s Candy Crowley Thursday, “I think that just how high up it goes is a big question and one we shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions about.”
On Thursday the FBI opened an investigation into allegations that reporters working for News Corp’s News Of The World tabloid in Britain tried to get access to the phone records of British victims of September 11. The investigation was prompted by a letter from Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who called on the FBI to look into a report by the U.K.’s Daily Mirror.
“They should have the common sense to know you cannot intercept telephone calls,” Giuliani said of the allegations. “That’s a federal felony and a serious one in the United States, and I’m pretty darn sure it is pretty darn serious in England too.”
But he defended Murdoch. “He’s a very honorable, honest man,” Guiliani said. “This can’t be something that he would have anything to do with.”
Murdoch is a longtime friend of Giuliani — endorsing his mayoral run in 1993 and attending his wedding ten years later. And, CNN reports, “a law and lobbying firm in which Giuliani is partner received $100,000 in lobbying fees from News Corp. in 2005, according to congressional disclosure filings.”
Giuliani told CNN he had not yet seen Murdoch since the scandal broke. “I’ll probably see him at some point in the next couple of days or week,” he said. “I see him all the time at various functions.”