I had high hopes for Rudy Giuliani. When Donald Trump pulled off his surprise victory in November 2016, I started assembling a dream team in my head of who should join the Trump administration (and for what position) and Rudy was one of my top choices for attorney general.
When Rudy came on as Trump’s lawyer, I thought, “This is good. Rudy’s the man for this job.”
Boy, was I wrong.
I don’t care how much you love Donald Trump, lately it’s been looking like hiring Rudy Giuliani was an even bigger mistake than hiring Omorosa. I never saw her as someone who had any business working in the White House, and I’d always pegged her to be a turncoat. Sure enough, when she had the chance, she got a seven-figure book deal to tell her story of working in the White House with Trump — a book that reads like (and is probably just as inaccurate as) the infamous Hillary Clinton-funded Steele dossier.
Would Rudy Giuliani do something similar? No, I don’t think he’d ever go the Omarosa route. But, as President Trump’s lawyer, I expected a level of public relations competence that just has repeatedly failed to show up.
Even the most die-hard liberals must know deep down that there was no “collusion” between Donald Trump and Russia. I understand the left’s desire to hold onto the fantasy that the Mueller investigation will reveal all the evidence and Trump will be forced to resign or be impeached and removed from office… but that’s just not going happen. Similarly, conservatives spent eight years hoping that Obama’s repeated scandals would be his undoing. Democrats would never turn on him, no matter how serious the crime. Even when Republicans had both the House and Senate it didn’t take a genius to know that the GOP wasn’t going to hold Obama, the first black president, accountable for anything he did. It’s been two years, and we still have no evidence of collusion… because it didn’t happen. At least not between Russia and Trump. Russia and the Clinton campaign are another story.
But I digress. If you’ve been paying attention lately, you know that Rudy Giuliani has made some mistakes while talking to the media… and not little ones either.
On CNN last week, he told Chris Cuomo “I never said there was no collusion between people in the campaign” and Russians. This and other comments forced Giuliani to do a little CYA the following day:
“I represent only President Trump not the Trump campaign. There was no collusion by President Trump in any way, shape or form,” Giuliani said in a statement, adding, “Likewise, I have no knowledge of any collusion by any of the thousands of people who worked on the campaign.The only knowledge I have in this regard is the collusion of the Clinton campaign with Russia which has so far been ignored.”
Yesterday, Rudy, discussing whether Trump spoke with Michael Cohen about his congressional testimony, told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I don’t know if it happened or didn’t happen. It may be attorney-client privilege if it happened, where I can’t acknowledge it. But I have no knowledge that he spoke to him, but I’m telling you I wasn’t there then.”
Does anyone think that was an approved talking point? I can only imagine the sound of the collective groaning in the White House when he made that comment. Up until he started making these fumbles, I thought he’d still make a great attorney general. Perhaps he still would. All I know, and all anyone has clearly seen, is he’s not doing a good job representing Trump as his lawyer. As Cheryl Chumley at the Washington Times put it, the first red flag that Rudy has been doing a disservice to Trump is that the mainstream media has started to love him.
When you start to generate easy-to-read-and-tweet headlines that suggest, in just a few short words, that hey now, maybe the Democrats are right to keep on investigating this president for Russia collusion-slash-obstruction-of-justice after all.
Rudy Giuliani may have made a good attorney general. His record is that of a tough-on-crime, law-and-order leader, and I think he would have aggressively gone after Hillary Clinton for her violations of the law—heck, maybe even Obama, too. Perhaps he’d still be up for the task, but he’s done nothing to deserve a promotion.
Most of the time, when Giuliani gets in front of a media camera, he makes headlines for bad reasons. That the White House is still trotting him out there is troubling.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis