Observers shouldn't rush to judgment in the growing investigation of the media conglomerate News Corp, the New York City mayor at the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks said late Thursday.
"Give people the presumption of innocence," Rudy Giuliani said before an evening meeting with New Hampshire voters. "I think just how high up it goes is a big question, and it's one we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions about."
But Giuliani was making more than a casual observation. He and New Corp's chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, have shared a political and personal relationship for nearly two decades.
Murdoch endorsed Giuliani in his 1993 mayoral race and was a guest at the mayor's 2003 wedding. Giuliani acknowledged the close relationship Thursday.
"I'll probably see him some point in the next couple of days _ or a week _ I see him all the time, at various functions," he said during the taping of an interview for CNN at Manchester Harley Davidson as dozens of supporters and reporters watched.
Giuliani said he has confidence in Murdoch despite allegations that one of Murdoch's companies may have tapped into the voicemail of 9/11 victims.
"He's a very, honorable, honest man. This can't be something that he would have anything to do with," Giuliani said.
The FBI has begun a preliminary inquiry into the hacking allegations.
Giuliani's comments came during the final stop on the first day of this week's New Hampshire tour. The 2008 presidential candidate is exploring a second run for the White House, but says he won't make a decision until the end of the summer.
His relationship with Murdoch and his media companies is well documented.
As mayor, Giuliani advocated for Fox News in a New York cable dispute. And once he left elected office, his law and lobbying clients included Murdoch's News Corp. Further, Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes was Giuliani's media consultant in his unsuccessful 1989 mayoral bid, and the two have maintained close ties over the years.
Giuliani, the former U.S. Attorney for the district that includes New York City, noted Thursday that there's already an active investigation of News Corp.
He offered some advice to the American people: "I think what they shouldn't do, as we've learned recently with a bunch of criminal cases of different kinds _ don't rush to judgment."