Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke about his role as President Donald Trump’s TV surrogate last week with The Associated Press.
“Our strategy is: When we weren’t talking, we were losing,” he said Thursday. “Normally in a criminal or civil investigation, the audience would not be the public.
“But in this one, it is.”
Of the special counsel’s office, Giuliani said: “They have the capacity to report and so do we. We’re reporting in real time as we go. So whose report will the public accept?
“Who do they believe? We’re looking to win that argument.”
But even if that’s a candid assessment of his aim, Giuliani seems to have freelanced his way into a minefield of Trump-based credibility problems.
So far on this turn-up-the-noise tour, the Republican who wanted to be secretary of state:
- Spoke of a Sept. 1 deadline for special counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction probe that doesn’t seem to exist. Sources told Reuters it was “entirely made up.” We’ll see.
- Gave inconsistent accounts last month of whether the president paid $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels as hush money. He will “get his facts straight,” Trump jabbed.
- Said Melania Trump “believes her husband” when he says he didn’t have the affair — before her spokeswoman said: “I don’t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani.”
- Said North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “got back on his hands and knees and begged” for a summit. To which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Rudy doesn’t speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation and this set of issues.”
- Soft-pedaled Trump’s own claim of a “spy” in his campaign, saying neither he nor the president knows that for sure. Even top Trump allies in Congress say FBI tactics were legitimate.
- Indicated Trump was too busy preparing for the North Korea summit to be interviewed by Mueller — before Trump said: “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude.”
Overall, what the professionals call message discipline seems to remain lacking with Giuliani’s intensive TV talking tour. That’s because the Trump team’s stories keep colliding and even collapsing.