Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Man With The Receipts

Question: What do the following have in common: Kevin Hart, James Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Rudy Giuliani?

Answer: They all are stand-up comedians.

That's one explanation for the Trump-Giuliani relationship. We read that President

Trump is worried that his campaign’s legal team, which is being led by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is composed of “fools that are making him look bad,” NBC News reported Monday....

But when asked why Trump doesn’t fire Giuliani and other attorneys who remain on the team, a person familiar with the president’s thinking gave a profane shoulder shrug of an answer.

“Who the f--- knows?” that person said to NBC News.

The Associated Press' Jonathan Lemire believes it's "the sense from the president that Giuliani did some some good in the Russia probe, with his fog machine to confuse the issues and deliver attacks on Mueller that seemed to undermine the special council’s credibility. " The usually insightful Steve M. thinks "Trump gets tremendous emotional satisfaction from watching people fight on his behalf, even if they're fighting ineptly. It's primitive and it's male..."

Others may believe that it's the President's deep appreciation for a good stand-up comedian. In November of 2019 The Guardian reported

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has said he is confident the president will remain loyal to him as an impeachment inquiry unfolds in which the former New York mayor has become a central figure.

But Giuliani joked that he had good “insurance” in case Trump did turn on him, amid speculation Republicans will seek to frame him as a rogue actor.

In a telephone interview with the Guardian, in response to a question about whether he was nervous that Trump might “throw him under a bus” in the impeachment crisis, Giuliani said, with a slight laugh: “I’m not, but I do have very, very good insurance, so if he does, all my hospital bills will be paid.”

Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, who was also on the call, then interjected: “He’s joking.”

Ha! We all laughed. Some folks were rolling in the aisles. Betting here, though, is that the La Cosa Nostra did not mistake it for a joke. It's what organized crime figures know to do- casually drop a veiled threat, then pull back from it: mission accomplished.

Rudolph Giuliani was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the 1980s, when Donald J. Trump was bugging hotel rooms and making deals with the mob in New York real estate. He not only knows where the bodies are buried. He probably has a road map.

Nor is Mr. Giuliani's bargaining position hurt by his relationship with the New York office of the FBI. Recall that on Fox & Friends in late October 2016

“Does Donald Trump plan anything except a series of inspiring rallies?” Mr. Kilmeade asked.

“Yes,” Mr. Giuliani replied.

Another host, Ainsley Earhardt, jumped in.

“What?” she asked.

“Ha-ha-ha,” Mr. Giuliani laughed. “You’ll see.”

Appearing to enjoy his own coy reply, Mr. Giuliani resumed chuckling: “Ha-ha-ha.”

“When will this happen?” Ms. Earhardt asked.

“We got a couple of surprises left,” Mr. Giuliani said, smiling.

This enigmatic reply roused the show’s third host, Steve Doocy.

“October surprises?” he asked.

Mr. Giuliani expanded a bit.

“Well,” he said, “I call them early surprises in the way we’re going to campaign to get our message out, maybe in a little bit of a different way. You’ll see. And I think it’ll be enormously effective. And I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton finally are beginning to have an impact.”

Three days later, James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., said agents were reviewing emails “that appear to be pertinent” to a closed investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a personal email server while secretary of state.

Stand-up comedian Noel Casler, a tireless Trump critic who worked on the set of Celebrity Apprentice, maintains the President "is very unintelligent, but he is also a master conman. He knows what he’s doing, in the sense of advancing his own interests." 

This isn't the first time the parlor game of "will Trump fire the unhinged Giuliani" has been played. If Giuliani still hasn't been fired by the President, it's not primarily because of a personality quirk or character flaw. Rather, it's primarily because Rudolph Giuliani doesn't merely know where the bodies are buried. He probably has a road map- and if he doesn't, Donald Trump can't be sure of it.


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