The Trump administration has pioneered some truly innovative defensive maneuvers to skeptical media questioning. There is Kellyanne Conway’s trick of taking a word in the question and repeating it to cover the fact that she is changing the subject. (“Q: Donald Trump was caught on video killing a janitor and eating his face.” Conway: “Jake, we should face the fact that working people have suffered terribly under the slow growth of the Obama administration, and janitors and other hard-working Americans deserve to get a raise.”) There’s Trump’s technique of bluntly confessing to high crimes and misdemeanors and then just throwing out more news nuggets. Today, Rudy Giuliani introduced a new one: shouting over the incriminating video clip.
The backstory here is that Giuliani has been insisting the president could not possibly be pulled into grand jury testimony, yet during the Clinton administration, he had maintained the opposite. Historically, when an interviewer springs the old video clip of the talking head advocating an embarrassing position, he has to come up with some explanation as to why things have changed. Rudy just ranted through it, so the clip wasn’t even audible.
It’s so simple yet so brilliant. Why have all those previous interview subjects just sat there quietly like suckers?