Despite what The Clash sang, Rudy can fail and Donald Trump is beginning to realize it.
A report in Vanity Fair claims that the president was so displeased with Rudy Giuliani’s recent appearances on Fox News — including the one where his personal attorney made an enigmatically threatening insinuation that he wasn’t worried about being thrown under a bus by Trump because he has “insurance” — that he has directed his lawyer to cease his televised meltdowns.
The decision to muzzle the ranting Giuliani comes after over a year of pressure from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to jettison the former mayor from the president’s legal team, according to three Republicans close to the administration.
“Most people around Trump have tried to say Rudy is not a positive,” one former White House official told Vanity Fair.
Trump ignored their advice and kept Giuliani on despite a track record of highly erratic cable news appearances that divulged previously undisclosed incriminating details of the president’s conduct and that often required his lawyer to engage in damage control efforts to clean up the mess that he had made.
Perhaps it was the mysterious “insurance” that Giuliani has been mentioning lately that kept Trump from ditching his unpredictable attorney, but according to the same White House official, the explanation was much simpler.
“He liked him on television,” the insider said.
Apparently Trump is less enamored of the most recent season of the Rudy Giuliani show.
One Republican knowledgable about the recent Oval Office strategy said the relationship between the president and his lawyer has become strained in the context of the House impeachment inquiry where Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine have come under heavy scrutiny.
“Rudy is cut off from Fox News,” the Republican source said.
Another person close to Trump explained the decision to silence the former New York City mayor as another attempt at damage control.
“We had to do something, we don’t want Rudy out there. Every time he talks it’s bad for Trump,” they said.
Trump was reportedly incensed over Giuliani’s “insurance” comment that perhaps touched a nerve in a highly sensitive spot.
“Trump was pissed,” a source told Vanity Fair.
Giuliani backtracked on that comment the very next day when he tweeted out an explanation that he was merely being “sarcastic” and reportedly phoned Trump to apologize for the gaffe.
Yet, with his former associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman under indictment for campaign finance violations involving funneling illegal foreign contributions and Rudy himself reportedly under criminal investigation by the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York where he used to run the show, Trump’s distancing himself from his lawyer seems like the prelude to a future claim from the president that he barely knew the man that he’s about to throw under the bus.
Let’s hope that Giuliani has kept up the premiums on his insurance. It looks like this Rudy fail will require some significant coverage.
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Original reporting by Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair.