We’ve had a lot of fun at the expense of Rudy Giuliani over the past nine months – maybe you noticed.
Giuliani’s habit of accidentally incriminating Trump after each successive Russia bombshell is a source of endless entertainment and dates back to last May, when Rudy admitted to multiple crimes in one sitting on Fox & Friends.
Giuliani’s inexplicable reverse-lawyering (where one effectively tries and convicts one’s own client on national television) continued apace in June, July and August, and then returned with a vengeance last week, when he showed up on CNN and inadvertently admitted there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In a dubious encore, Rudy went on CNN Sunday to explain to Jake Tapper what he (Rudy) actually meant when he confessed to campaign collusion to Chris Cuomo. Then, he proceeded to further “clarify” things in an interview with Chuck Todd. Predictably, Giuliani ended up incriminating the President again, this time by saying, explicitly, that then-candidate Trump discussed Trump Tower Moscow with Michael Cohen all the way up to election eve in 2016.
And look, you guys, we’re not making mountains of molehills here. In fact, every single time Giuliani does this, we always wait an hour to see if everyone is just as flabbergasted as we are before we lampoon him, and we are never (ever) disappointed.
Well, sure enough, Giuliani’s Sunday comments about the timeline on the Moscow project discussions kicked off a veritable firestorm and on Monday afternoon, the White House was forced to try and explain things. Unfortunately, they left that explaining to – you guessed it – Rudy Giuliani.
“My statements about discussions during the 2016 campaign between Michael Cohen and then-candidate Donald Trump about a potential Trump Moscow ‘project’ were hypothetical and not based on conversations I had with the President”, Giuliani said, in a statement to ABC, adding that “my comments did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any such discussions.”
Do keep in mind that this is the lawyer having to explain not what his client said, but rather what he himself said, which is the exact opposite of what you want in a lawyer.
Additionally, please – please – don’t let it be lost on you that the comments about the Moscow project that Rudy is trying to explain on Monday were themselves part of a bungled effort to explain last Wednesday’s ill-advised remarks about campaign collusion.
The other hilarious part of this is that it’s not clear what Rudy means when he says “my comments did not represent the actual timing… of any such discussions.” Here, for anyone who missed it, are the comments he’s referring to:
RUDY GIULIANI: “No. It’s our understanding that it, that they went on throughout 2016, not a lot of them, but there were conversations, can’t be sure of the exact date, but the president can remember having conversations with him about it. The president also remembers …”
CHUCK TODD: “Throughout 2016?”
RUDY GIULIANI: “Yeah. Probably up to, could be up to as far as October, November.
Now, you tell us: how exactly does that “not represent the actual timing… of any such discussions”? He said the “actual” names of “actual” months.
The real punchline, though, is that Rudy couldn’t even issue a written (i.e., not televised) clarification without losing track of what he was talking about, because at the end of his Monday statement, seemingly realizing that he was losing the plot after just two sentences, he says this:
The point is that the proposal was in the earliest stage and did not advance beyond a free non-binding letter of intent.
Of course nobody is questioning that. The question revolves around when the discussions took place, and Giuliani didn’t answer that on Monday. But that’s fine, because he did answer it on Sunday, and his answer was an incriminating one, which is why he had to issue today’s confusing statement.
Got that? No? That’s ok, neither does Rudy.