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Republican Rudy Giuliani said he won't release a full list of his law firm's clients while campaigning for the White House because of confidentiality agreements.

Giuliani, interviewed on NBC's ``Meet the Press,'' said the Houston-based law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, with offices in Europe, the Middle East and parts of the former Soviet Union, is prevented by such agreements from disclosing client relations.

The former New York mayor said most of the clients that he worked with at the law firm and at a separate consulting firm, Giuliani Partners LLC, have been publicly identified.

Giuliani, who leads most national polls of Republican voters while trailing in the first states that hold nomination contests, defended his work with such entities such as the government of Qatar and Citgo Petroleum Corp., the company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's government.

``The reality is that none of them amount to anything other than ethical, lawful, decent work,'' Giuliani, 63, said. ``None of them involve any conflict of any kind.''

He said he no longer is involved in the day-to-day operations of his private businesses, which continue to compensate him. ``I'm an owner,'' he said, adding, ``I'll live up to whatever ethical or legal obligations are required.''

Relationship With Kerik

Giuliani also described as bad judgment his appointment of Bernard B. Kerik as New York City's corrections commissioner in 1998, its police commissioner in 2000 and in late 2004 his recommendation of Kerik to the White House to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In November, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York indicted Kerik for alleged conspiracy and tax fraud from 1998 to 2006. According to the indictment, Kerik concealed $500,000 in payments on his federal tax returns and on financial disclosure forms to his city employer, and then tried to persuade witnesses to lie about the payments. His work allegedly included consulting for a New Jersey waste-management firm that was being investigated by local and state authorities for ties to organized crime.

``I made a mistake in not vetting him carefully enough,'' Giuliani said. ``There were enough facts known where I should not have recommended him. I should have found them out. It was my fault. I take responsibility for it.''

Giuliani, New York city's mayor from 1994 through 2001, and previously a federal prosecutor, defended his overall record.

``I know my judgment is not going to be 100 percent correct. You try to get to 100 percent. It's been correct enough so that I've had a great deal of success. I've been able to deal with crisis very effectively. And I've been able to turn things around that other people haven't been able to turn around.''

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