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Dershowitz Won’t Say Whether Trump Asked Him to Be Lawyer in Clash With CNN’s Stelter

Sparring with CNN’s Brian Stelter Sunday, famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz refused to say whether President Donald Trump asked him to be his attorney.

“I can’t ever say who’s ever asked me to be his lawyer, but I’ve made it clear: I don’t want to be the president’s lawyer,” he told Stelter.

Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor, said it’s difficult for Trump to find lawyers because of the number of conflicts of interests that could arise.

“I think he got a good lawyer in New York, I think he has some good lawyers in Washington,” he said. “There’s a lot of conflicts of interest, which make it very hard for him to get lawyers. I know that a lot of good lawyers who want to get involved in the case, their law firms won’t let them because they have conflicting interests, but I think the key point is to make sure that in an effort to get Trump, we don’t diminish our civil liberties.”

Dershowitz called himself “the default guy on civil liberties,” arguing that the ACLU wasn’t working effectively to support them after defending the FBI’s raids against Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Asked whether he feels television appearances are an ideal way to communicate with the president, Dershowitz replied that it was only way for him.

“I don’t want to communicate in any other way,” he said. “I do not want to be his lawyer, I don’t want to give him legal advice, I can’t give legal advice on a one-to-one basis. I can only state what I believe are the constitutional issues on national television. One of the reasons I don’t want to be his lawyer is because I have no interest in what happened to him before he became president, his business life, his personal life. I’m only interested in the Article 2 issues, the constitutional issues. I’m interested in doing what the American Civil Liberties Union has failed to do, and that is defending the rights of all Americans.”

However, Stelter pushed back on Dershowitz’s remarks, wanting to know more about any contact he may have had with the president. Dershowitz responded that he’d barely had any communication with Trump and that he did not support him, calling himself “a stranger to him.”

“I have seen him twice as president, mostly for handshakes and one phone call,” he told Stelter. “We’re not friends. I’ve never been in a social setting with him at all, so he would never show me his feelings. I’m somebody brought in from the outside to help him on the Middle East and then go home…I am not a supporter. I am not a defender of Donald Trump the person. I’m a defender of civil liberties and basic due process.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

Follow Amy Russo on Twitter: @amymrusso