WASHINGTON — President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, abruptly resigned from his law firm, Greenberg Traurig, the firm announced on Thursday, then promptly undercut his recent statements defending the president.
Mr. Giuliani had taken a leave of absence last month from the firm, one of the nation’s largest, to represent Mr. Trump. But the firm said in a statement that he no longer worked there.
Firm partners had chafed over Mr. Giuliani’s public comments about payments that another of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Michael D. Cohen, made to secure the silence of a pornographic film actress who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. The president has denied her allegations.
Mr. Giuliani suggested that such payments were common at his firm, even without the knowledge of the clients. “That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds,” he said on Fox News. He added, “Michael would take care of things like this like I take care of this with my clients.”
The New York Times asked Greenberg Traurig about those remarks early this week. Shortly after Mr. Giuliani’s resignation was announced, the firm responded.
“We cannot speak for Mr. Giuliani with respect to what was intended by his remarks,” said a spokeswoman, Jill Perry. “Speaking for ourselves, we would not condone payments of the nature alleged to have been made or otherwise without the knowledge and direction of a client.”
Mr. Trump has publicly denied knowing about the payments as they were made. Mr. Giuliani said the president reimbursed Mr. Cohen for them, an arrangement he said was routine. Mr. Giuliani had to walk back many of his comments.
Mr. Giuliani laughed when read the statement from the firm. “First of all, I don’t think they really understand what I said,” he said. He said he was referring to a non-disclosure agreement that Mr. Cohen had negotiated. “That’s a very common part of a settlement,” he said. “In fact, any lawyer would negotiated that for a client.”