Rudy Giuliani may have been an awesome mayor for the city of New York, at one time.
I remember his appearances on TV after the horrific September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
I was particularly proud of him when I heard reports that he’d turned down a hefty contribution from the Saudi prince, who offered a check, while also serving up a bit of condescending, “You know you brought this on yourselves…”
Giuliani was a hero. He was “America’s mayor,” truly, as the nation, for a brief time, stood unified against a common enemy.
Now, alas, we’re nearly two decades removed from the events of 9/11 and a lot has gone down.
As I’ve said before, our memories are short. An event that should be cemented into the fabric of who we are, going forward, has been demoted to a single day of memorial, with a few words of comfort and patriotism at the site of the attack, a reading of the names, a moment of silence, then it’s back to business as usual.
Even sadder, perhaps, is that “America’s mayor,” Giuliani apparently became addicted to the adoration. He was enjoying the celebrity of appearing on Fox News with regularity. The kudos for his character and leadership went to his head, and he wants it back.
For Giuliani, buying his ticket to board the Trump Train was the way to go. At the very least, it kept him in front of the cameras, as he acted as a Trump defender and surrogate.
Being brought on as part of the crumbling Trump legal team had to be a dream come true. This was Rudy’s chance to truly shine, once more.
That saying along the lines of bad publicity being better than no publicity seems to be firmly engaged here. The problem is, Giuliani seems to forget that this isn’t about him. It’s about his client, President Trump. In forgetting that, he seems to be making a glorious mess of things.
In the past week or so, an exuberant Giuliani has blown Trump’s assertion that he had no idea why his longtime “fixer” and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, paid porn star, and “alleged” former mistress, Stormy Daniels $130,000.
The Associated Press is reporting that Trump has quickly become disenchanted with his old friend and new lawyer. It’s to the point that he may want to bar Giuliani from doing any further TV appearances.
In other words: Stop trying to fix things!
After Trump chided Giuliani on Friday, saying the lawyer needed to “get his facts straight,” Giuliani put out a statement trying to clarify his remarks. But in weekend interviews, Giuliani appeared to dig himself a deeper hole by acknowledging that “Cohen takes care of situations like this, then gets paid for them sometimes.” He did not rule out the possibility that Cohen had paid off other women.
Trump, who has denied the affair with Daniels, was angry that Giuliani had given the impression that other women may have made similar charges of infidelity, according to the people familiar with his views.
Additionally, Trump has grown agitated in recent days by replays of Giuliani’s interview with Sean Hannity, in which he said that Trump knew about the payment but that it wasn’t a campaign violation. A clearly surprised Hannity then asked, “Because they funneled it through the law firm?”
And it’s Trump toady Hannity for the assist!
You could almost hear Robert Mueller hitting the replay on his DVR.
To which Giuliani responded, “Funneled it through the law firm, and the president repaid him.”
That was a trending performance, with social media set ablaze, as onlookers were aghast at how perfectly Giuliani and Hannity deconstructed Trump’s lie earlier claim of having no idea about the payoff.
Trump snapped at both men in recent days, chiding Hannity for using the word “funneled,” which he believes had illegal connotations, according to the people who spoke to The Associated Press. As for Giuliani, the president has not yet signaled to him to stop appearing on television but told a confidant recently that perhaps Giuliani should “be benched” — at least temporarily — if he can’t improve his performance.
And that might be the first really sound idea Trump has had, for some time. Giuliani gets excited by cameras. He overperforms, and as an attorney for the president, in what is a high stakes case, he’s not serving his client well.
Some are even comparing him to Anthony Scaramucci, the former communications director for the Trump White House.
The Mooch lasted about 11 days. He hadn’t even officially began the job, yet, before he gave a profanity-laced interview, ripping into former colleagues, then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart guru and Trump chief strategist.
That event resulted in his dismissal, with Priebus following close behind.
Scaramucci boasted of the comparison.
“I am enjoying all of the comparisons between me and the mayor #RudyGiuliani,” Scaramucci tweeted Sunday. “He is loyal, tough and a fierce competitor. He fights and will win for @realDonaldTrump @POTUS. Big compliment thank you!”
Who wants to be the one to tell him that while he may take it as a compliment, it wasn’t meant as a compliment for Giuliani?
It was pretty much the opposite, actually.
Giuliani was chosen because of his outspoken loyalty to Trump, as well as his opposition to the ongoing Russia probe. Had he stuck with that, and his initial statement that he was brought on to facilitate a speedy end to the Russia probe, he would have been fine.
He just doesn’t have it in him to tamp it down, however.
Seriously. He referred to White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner as “expendable.”
Kushner and his wife, Trump’s favored child, Ivanka, have an oversized influence on the president. How is something like that going to go over?
So out of control is the former mayor, at this point, that he’s also inserting himself into foreign policy.
Giuliani’s remarks have also been watched with concern at the State Department and Pentagon after he weighed in recently on international affairs. He declared last week that North Korea would be releasing three Americans being held captive, which has not yet happened, and said the administration was committed to regime change in Iran, a stance Trump has not taken.
“He speaks for himself and not on behalf of the administration on foreign policy,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Monday.
Stay in your lane, Rudy.
Let’s be honest. Giuliani doesn’t carry sole blame, here. Trump picked him – something that likely would not have happened, if he were looking for competence over an active fan club.