If you didn’t know who Rudy Giuliani is and heard him ranting on a street corner like he did Sunday morning on television, you’d cross the street to avoid him.
Giuliani is in some hot water for his role in the whistleblower complaint and the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, and as expected, his television appearances are making his situation much, much worse.
The president’s personal lawyer appeared on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos peddling more conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, a relative of John Kerry, Joe Biden, Biden’s son Hunter, and George Soros, among others.
It was batshit crazy.
Granted, Giuliani began the interview with Stephanopoulos a step behind, because the previous guest, Trump’s former White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, a Republican, had obliterated Trump and Giuliani’s conspiracy theories about DNC servers, Russian hacks, and Ukraine’s non-involvement.
According to the whistleblower complaint at the center of the impeachment inquiry against Trump, the president brought up in a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the 2016 hack of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Here’s the excerpt from that phone call, in which Trump tries to convince Zelensky to look into the matter:
“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.”
Asked about this, Bossert said he is “deeply disturbed.” Then, he pulled the rug out from underneath Giuliani and the president.
“It’s not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked,” Bossert said, adding, “I am deeply frustrated with what [Giuliani] and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in [Trump’s] mind when he hears it over and over again. And for clarity here, George, let me just again repeat that it has no validity.”
Bossert explains further: “The United States government reached its conclusion on attributing to Russia the DNC hack in 2016 before it even communicated it to the FBI, and long before the FBI ever knocked on the door at the DNC. So, a server inside the DNC was not relevant to our determination to the attribution—it was made upfront and beforehand. And so while servers can be important in some of the investigations that followed, it has nothing to do with the U.S. government’s attribution of Russia for the DNC hack.”
And, in case it’s still not clear: “The DNC server, that conspiracy theory has got to go. They have to stop with that. It cannot continue to be repeated in our discourse.”
Giuliani appeared immediately after this and was thoroughly wound up.
“With all due respect to Tom Bossert, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, that I invented this,” Giuliani said. “This was given to me. It was given to me in November…Or you’re talking about that CrowdStrike thing?”
“Will you stop peddling it?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I have never peddled it,” Giuliani claimed. “Have you ever [heard] me talk about CrowdStrike? I’ve never peddled it. Tom Bossert doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’ve never engaged in any theory that the Ukrainians did the hacking. In fact, when this was first presented to me, I pretty clearly understood the Ukrainians didn’t do the hacking. That doesn’t mean the Ukrainians didn’t do anything…”
With that cleared up, Giuliani ranted about other conspiracies, particularly about the Obama administration, Clinton, and the Bidens.
“What the president’s talking about, however, there is a load of evidence that the Ukrainians created false information, that they were asked by the Obama White House to do it in January of 2016. Information [Bossert has] never bothered to go read…about how there’s a Ukrainian court finding that a particular individual illegally gave the Clinton campaign information. No one wants to investigate that.”
No one wants to “investigate” it because that particular conspiracy theory also has been debunked. Oh, Rudy.
He kept going: “November of 2016 they first came to me and they said, ‘We have shocking evidence that the collusion that they claim happened in Russia, which didn’t happen, happened in Ukraine, and it happened with Hillary Clinton, George Soros was behind it, George Soros’ company was funding it…I can prove it.”
Giuliani then tried to provide cover for himself by claiming he had never intended to “investigate” the Bidens, but he simply “fell upon Joe Biden in investigating how the Ukrainians were conspiring with the Hillary Clinton campaign to turn over dirty information, including something for which a Ukrainian has already been convicted.”
Again, that theory’s been debunked.
To prove he’s serious, Giuliani pulled out some papers. These documents have been online for six months, he said.
And then he rambled on and on and on. Stephanopoulos heroically tried to shut him down several times, usually to no avail.
Giuliani then attacked the whistleblower, claiming that the statements in the complaint were lies, which is great, except for the fact that they’ve already been proven quite accurate, based on a summary of Trump’s call with Zelensky PROVIDED BY THE WHITE HOUSE.
Finally, Giuliani broke down, shouting, “Please! Can I just make my point?!”
Stephanopoulos: “You’ve been making your point.”
Giuliani: “No I haven’t.”
Asked if he would cooperate with Congress, Giuliani said he wouldn’t while House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff was involved.
“I think Adam Schiff should be removed,” Giuliani said.
“So you’re not going to cooperate?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I didn’t say that. I said I would consider it,” Giuliani replied. (Uh, no he didn’t.)
Then the former mayor attacked Schiff, who was the next guest on the show.
“Are you going to interrupt him as much as you interrupt me?” Giuliani asked, talking over Stephanopoulos’ attempt to transition to the next guest. “Let’s see how the interview goes. Hi, Adam, nice to see you.”
Following Giuliani’s circus performance, Schiff confirmed that the whistleblower would testify before Congress “very soon,” and that lawmakers would make efforts to protect that person’s identity.
“We are taking all the precautions we can to make sure that…we allow that testimony to go forward in a way that protects the whistleblower’s identity, because as you can imagine, with the president issuing threats like, ‘We ought to treat these people who expose my wrongdoing as we used to treat traitors and spies, and we used to execute traitors and spies,’ you can imagine the security concerns here,” Schiff said.
Oh, we can imagine. What a week.
Watch the entire crazy exchange: