During the 2016 presidential campaign, Rudy Giuliani emerged as one of Donald Trump’s most loyal and obedient attack dogs, never passing up an opportunity to debase himself if it meant supporting Trump. It was a role that suited the former New York City mayor, whose own political ambitions seem to have died with his 2008 presidential bid. After Trump won, Giuliani was passed over for a Cabinet appointment but remained an unofficial defender of the president.
Then, in April 2018, the gig became official, with Giuliani joining Trump’s legal team. Immediately, he predicted that the Mueller probe would end in “a couple of weeks.” Eleven months later, the special counsel’s report was delivered to Attorney General William Barr. In the interim, Giuliani did much of what he did before joining Trump’s team, making frequent TV appearances and defending Trump with statements that had some questioning his sanity.
But now that the Mueller saga is over, what’s an attack dog to do? This one’s getting back to barking: pot-stirring around Joe Biden and Ukraine, for instance. But he’s eager to do more, according to a new report from Politico:
Done sparring with Robert Mueller, Donald Trump’s personal attorney is now training his attacks on the president’s reelection rivals. Giuliani plans to meet with the president and his campaign in the coming weeks to discuss pivoting to this new role, which he expects will also include making policy and political connections for the 2020 effort.
“We’ll see where they have holes and where they need help,” Giuliani told POLITICO. “I’m available to do a lot of it.”
This new role awaits Giuliani even though Trump advisers and campaign hands think he’s a headache-causing loose cannon — and keep saying as much to the media.
In the Politico story, one anonymous Trump campaign adviser “readily admitted that Giuliani’s faults can cause problems for others around the president.” Then the person said, “I think he has the potential to be very effective in certain circumstances. He also has the potential to be unhelpful at times.”
Later in the article, the adviser lauded Giuliani as a “great warm-up act” who can also “get sloppy with details.”
Another anonymous campaign adviser admitted that Giuliani will do the kind of dirty work other campaign surrogates won’t, which makes his mistakes tolerable. “We view him as a necessary component to the overall picture,” the adviser told Politico.
Then there’s longtime Trump adviser Michael Caputo, whose endorsement of Giuliani was not exactly ringing: “I imagine not all of Rudy’s ideas are brilliant ones, but the vast majority are and I’ll take the good with the bad.”
These kinds of comments about Giuliani have been coming from inside Trumpworld for months. In January, a White House aide told Politico, “Handling Rudy’s fuck-ups takes more than one man.” Around the same time, the Washington Post reported that “White House communications staffers have grown frustrated with Giuliani and privately mock some of his interviews.”
Giuliani has, for his part, dismissed the criticism. “They just do it behind my back,” he told Politico.