Giuliani’s cleanup attempt leaves Trump’s defense in tatters
Rudy Giuliani’s written statement, an attempt to clean up his previous remarks about Trump’s personal involvement in the Stormy Daniels scandal, does nothing for Trump’s cause.
Rudy Giuliani, who has had a disastrous week as Trump’s mouthpiece, tried to clean up some of his recent comments that tied Trump directly to payoffs to porn star Stormy Daniels. And it was another disaster.
Earlier in the week, Giuliani revealed, while in a cozy conversation with pro-Trump Fox News host Sean Hannity, that Trump knew the $130,000 he handed off to attorney-fixer Michael Cohen was being used to keep his affair quiet.
Immediately, the Trump team was forced to try to spin their way out of that situation, an effort capped off by none other than Trump himself, who insisted to reporters this morning that Giuliani’s facts were wrong.
Trump’s remarks were followed by a formal statement from Giuliani, who is apparently trying to stay in Trump’s orbit longer than some of his other promoters.
But Giuliani’s statement was a mess. He says the cleanup document’s intent is to “clarify the views I expressed over the past few days.” Then document immediately gets deceptive.
Giuliani refers to Daniels’ story about the affair as “a personal and false allegation,” says the hush money was “in order to protect the President’s family,” and claims “it would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”
But he already admitted on Fox News that the payoff was about the campaign and the election. He noted the timing of the payment, asking people to think about what would have happened if people knew about Stormy Daniels way back then: “Imagine if that came out October 15th, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”
On Fox, Giuliani made it very clear the payoffs were to keep an embarrassing story for Trump out of the headlines at an inconvenient time.
Later in his statement, Giuliani lapses into doublespeak to try to absolve Trump and deny Trump’s knowledge of the payoff, writing, “My references to timing were not describing my understanding of the President’s knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.”
To believe the new version of events is to believe Trump, who is notorious for refusing to pay off his debts, handed his fixer a six-figure sum of money and didn’t ask what it was for. Now, we’re not only asked to believe Trump supposedly skipped this key question, but that he was surprised to learn about it two years later, too.
The other side of the story, which is far more credible than Giuliani’s attempt to hold on to his job, is that Trump funneled money through Michael Cohen to keep Stormy Daniels quiet.
The convoluted mess in the Giuliani statement is designed to obscure, not illuminate. Trump’s allies in some right-wing media venues have already begun to warn that his lies are making the entire movement and Republican Party unstable.
Giuliani’s desperate ploy only seems to underscore that Trump was in the middle of a coverup — after Trump has once again exposed himself to legal and ethical scrutiny via a bad hire.
Giuliani is just the latest in a line of fall guys trying to protect Trump from his own actions. It isn’t working.
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