Rudy Giuliani has been President Donald Trump’s lawyer for less than a week, and he just walked onstage and gave the Beyoncé Coachella performance of his life.
On Wednesday night, on Fox News’ Hannity, with Sean Hannity—the Fonzworth Bentley of the Conservative Party—Giuliani Boston Tea Partied all over the floor and pissed all over the Trump administration like an over-hydrated Russian prostitute in a swank hotel room with Orange Foolius; Giuliani kicked in the door and waved the .44.
In his first interview as a full-fledged member of Trump’s legal team, Giuliani confirmed that Trump reimbursed lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 that Cohen paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels (a claim Trump vehemently denied in the past).
And it was glorious. So glorious, in fact, that I’m beginning to wonder if the whole thing was staged. Follow me here:
Hannity tried to throw Giuliani a softball question about foreign national Christopher Steele ... blah, blah, blah ... don’t get stuck on the details here. This was just the question where Giuliani decided to turn things into a conversation about Daniels. It’s important to note that Giuliani is the one who mentioned Daniels, not Hannity.
Here is the exchange:
Sean Hannity: My question is, are you concerned within the process of this, we did discover that a foreign national, Christopher Steele, was paid through Fusion GPS, used Russian sources that not only weren’t verified, but were debunked—are you concerned that was paid for, to manipulate the American people in the lead-up to an election?
Rudy Giuliani: Isn’t that closer to the mandate than Michael Cohen?
SH: Why isn’t that happening? Where’s Mueller on that, sir?
RG: Having something to do with paying some Stormy Daniels woman $130,000? Which, I mean, is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I’m giving you a fact now that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation.
Because Giuliani brought it up first, it helped him control the narrative. He took over the boat’s steering wheel from Hannity like a thin Somali pirate, sat in the driver’s seat and dictated the direction of the conversation.
SH: They funneled it through a law firm.
RG: They funneled through a law firm, and the president repaid it.
SH: Oh. I didn’t know that. He did.
SH: There’s no campaign finance law.
RG: Zero. Just like every—Sean, Sean—
SH: So this decision was made by—
RG: Everybody was nervous about this from the very beginning. I wasn’t. I knew how much money Donald Trump put into that campaign, and I said, “$130,000? He could do a couple of checks for $130,000.”
When I heard of Cohen’s retainer for $130,000, he was doing no work for the president. I said, “Well, that’s how he’s repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes for Michael.”
In noting that Trump did, in fact, repay Cohen for silencing Daniels, Giuliani 8 Mile’d the Trump administration. His appearance on Hannity was like that of a good soldier for the administration, willing to dive onto the live grenade.
Instead of Trump fielding questions about Daniels, Giuliani is out ahead of that. However, I don’t believe Hannity knew that Giuliani was going to drop this bombshell, for one reason alone: They needed Hannity to play the straight man to the Trump administration’s con.
Hannity’s disbelief seemed genuine, and it was. Hannity even tried to reel Giuliani back in. But at this point, the ex-New York mayor was Eminem rapping about his white, lower-class upbringing, and he couldn’t be stopped.
Which leads me to:
Trump’s tweets. All roads will forever lead to a Trump tweet, which, in this case, isn’t a bad thing. Because Trump tweets everything in real time, the public knows when Trump is really upset (ALL CAPS), when he’s furious (a mix of ALL CAPS, random capitalizations, misspellings and crazy exclamation points!) and when he’s not.
Trump’s tweets after hearing Giuliani’s big reveal show none of that. In fact, these tweets don’t have any vitriol behind them at all and, I dare say, seem extremely well-thought-out.
Now compare the above tweets to Trump’s response after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 30.
Notice the difference, both in tone and text?
If Giuliani truly exposed Trump in a porn-star-for-play scheme, can any of us believe that Trump wouldn’t have gone ape-shit with denials and accusations? There would’ve been at least one tweet with a goofy nickname for Giuliani. Instead we got a composed series of tweets taking blame for the payment. They were so well-thought-out, he even added Stormy Daniels’ real name (Stephanie Clifford) in parentheses.
Giuliani is a stooge for the Trump administration.
Do you really think that he’d have the heart or the stupidity to walk onto national television without a game plan? The Trump administration is stupid but not dumb. This is a low-level The Practice play, but it’s one that worked on all the news outlets and publications that believe they were watching the implosion of the Trump administration from the inside.
The White House has been imploding since the time it took office, and it was an ingenious move to act as if Giuliani’s on-air exposé was nothing more than another fuckup, except that it wasn’t. Giuliani is a puppet and has been one since he was mayor of New York. If there’s one thing puppets don’t do, it’s think on their own.
Giuliani carries Trump’s shine box, and he’s fine with that. But the Trump administration knows that Cohen is going to walk into special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and sing “Isn’t It a Shame” in his best Patti LaBelle:
How is it that two people
Who laughed together and loved together
Sometimes end up far apart?
Because the Trump administration fears this, they are exposing all of their secrets. I wouldn’t be surprised if Giuliani appears on Hannity again to claim that Trump did have Russian hookers pee on his bed, only has $47 in his bank account, and gave Russian President Vladimir Putin all the pass codes to his social media accounts to prove that he isn’t sliding into anyone else’s DMs.
It’s a play, and truthfully, it’s the only play they have left.