When last we checked in on Rudy Giuliani, he was doing what he does best: Inadvertently implicating his client, who happens to be the President of the United States, in all manner of crimes, even ones we now know he didn’t actually commit.
Just to be clear, “facepalm” is an almost universal reaction to Giuliani’s on-air performances – incredulity at Rudy’s haplessness is perhaps the only thing Trump’s supporters and critics can agree on. “Past his prime” is grossly inadequate when it comes to describing Giuliani in the context of the legal profession.
The Trump team has reportedly known this for quite a while, which accounts for the conspicuous gap between last year’s near non-stop television cameos and January, when Rudy finally resurfaced only to pseudo-confess to collusion on behalf of the Trump campaign and implicate the president in lying to the American public about the timeline around the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations.
Towards the end of January, Giuliani granted an interview to The New Yorker. Asked if he ever worries that lying for Trump “will be your legacy?”, Rudy responded as follows:
Absolutely. I am afraid it will be on my gravestone. “Rudy Giuliani: He lied for Trump.” Somehow, I don’t think that will be it. But, if it is, so what do I care? I’ll be dead.
For reasons that remain entirely unclear, the White House continues to put Giuliani on television despite the odds of him saying something outrageous being precariously high.
On Sunday, Rudy showed up on CNN and, true to form, he said something (actually, several somethings) profoundly untoward. Here is Giuliani chatting with Jake Tapper about Mitt Romney and “Russians”:
Got that? Asked about Romney being “appalled” that some Americans “welcomed help from Russia”, Giuliani decided the best rejoinder was to implicate Romney (without evidence) in shady dealings, tacitly suggest that “everybody is doing it” (so to speak) these days when it comes to welcoming the assistance of the Kremlin while running for President of the United States and, when pressed on whether that makes any sense whatsoever, to ask America “Who says it’s illegal?” to “glean” information from KGB-successor operations in the course of campaigning for high office in the United States.
Do note how, when asked specifically whether he was accusing Romney of colluding with Moscow, Giuliani says “No! No!” as if he had already forgotten that he was the one who suggested as much not 3 seconds prior.
The critical point is that no matter which side you fall on, that is a painful clip to watch. If you’re a “never-Trumper”, it’s too egregious to bear. If, on the other hand, you’re a card-carrying MAGA acolyte, you’re just wondering why put Rudy on television (let alone CNN) knowing that the potential downside far outweighs any possible upside, especially considering that thanks to William Barr, the bar (sorry) for impeachment is now extraordinarily high.
Rudy’s Sunday remarks come hot on the heels of this rather unfortunate assessment as delivered by Giuliani earlier this week:
One wonders if he thinks that applies to himself.