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Maggie Haberman Has Scoop, It Is That Rudy Be Drinkin'
We kid the Habes, it is more scoop than that.
It is that Rudy Giuliani DRANK.
As in swimming pool full of liquor, and he dive. (Allegedly. More like A-LOL-gedly.)
And Special Counsel Jack Smith is very curious about it! (Not allegedly. But still A-LOL-gedly.)
We kid Haberman, who we guess merely confirmed RS’s earlier reporting in the course of reporting out her big feature New York Times piece on Rudy Giuliani: He Drunk?
The piece’s headline focuses on the fact that Jack Smith and his investigators are very curious about Giuliani’s drinking. The earlier reporting said Smith was partic interested in how drunk Giuliani was on election night 2020 (very, according to a number of witnesses), and whether famously sober Donald Trump was knowingly taking “stop the steal” advice from a drunk lawyer. (And a crazy nutcase lawyer, in the case of Sidney Powell and probably also the others.)
It has to do with knocking down Trump’s “advice of counsel” defense — namely that poor Trump was too helpless and stupid and led astray by bad influence lawyers to bear any culpability for trying to steal the election and overthrow the Republic. It’s bullshit. Trump knew, and was told repeatedly, per Smith’s indictment, that his lawyers’ cockamamie schemes for overturning the election were DSM-V-grade clownfuckery. Mike Pence told him. He told Pence, “You’re too honest.”
But on the other hand, late on election night, a reportedly extremely drunk Giuliani told Trump to “just say we won” and “just go declare victory right now.”
And he did.
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Haberman’s headline adds the detail that Rudy’s friends have been concerned about this for a very long time, long before Jack Smith was concerned about it. Which sort of adds another layer to Rudy’s constant insisting how sober he is.
She and her co-reporter Matt Flegenheimer locate Rudy in the Grand Havana Room cigar club in Midtown Manhattan:
For more than a decade, friends conceded grimly, Mr. Giuliani’s drinking had been a problem. And as he surged back to prominence during the presidency of Donald J. Trump, it was getting more difficult to hide it. […]
On some nights when Mr. Giuliani was overserved, an associate discreetly signaled the rest of the club, tipping back his empty hand in a drinking motion, out of the former mayor’s line of sight, in case others preferred to keep their distance. Some allies, watching Mr. Giuliani down Scotch before leaving for Fox News interviews, would slip away to find a television, clenching through his rickety defenses of Mr. Trump.
Even at less rollicking venues — a book party, a Sept. 11 anniversary dinner, an intimate gathering at Mr. Giuliani’s own apartment — his consistent, conspicuous intoxication often startled his company.
“It’s no secret, nor do I do him any favors if I don’t mention that problem, because he has it,” said Andrew Stein, a former New York City Council president who has known Mr. Giuliani for decades. “It’s actually one of the saddest things I can think about in politics.”
That was not in the earlier reporting.
They clarify, however, that nobody they talked to suggested that this was any excuse for all the things Rudy is currently indicted for in Georgia, or for the things in Smith’s indictment where Rudy is unnamed but described as a co-conspirator. (Or the sexual abuse lawsuit or groping accusations or anything else.)
As Haberman and Flegenheimer write:
He arrived for a mug shot in Georgia in August not over rowdy nightlife behavior or reckless cable interviews but for allegedly abusing the laws he defended aggressively as a federal prosecutor, subverting the democracy of a nation that once lionized him.
Yet to almost anyone in proximity, friends say, Mr. Giuliani’s drinking has been the pulsing drumbeat punctuating his descent — not the cause of his reputational collapse but the ubiquitous evidence, well before Election Day in 2020, that something was not right with the former president’s most incautious lieutenant.
At that point, Haberman and Flegenheimer turn to what we largely know from the earlier reporting — that Smith considers this important, and that he is asking many witnesses about it, trying to gauge Trump’s understanding and awareness of it. They note people who have spoken publicly about it previously, like Jason Miller, who told the House January 6 Select Committee how shithoused Rudy was that night.
They report that Trump himself has “spoken derisively about Mr. Giuliani’s drinking, according to a person familiar with his remarks.” Sounds to us like a guy who’s aware of it, but we’re sure Jack Smith already knows that.
They of course include the requisite denials from Camp [burp] Giuliani. And today, Giuliani dug in deeper with his protests that he’s not as think as you drunk he is. He was in New Hampshire announcing that he’s suing Joe Biden, in New Hampshire, for calling him a “Russian pawn” during a 2020 debate (Stop laughing, he’s serious.) Why in New Hampshire? Reasons. And he angrily denied Haberman’s reporting, saying:
“[If] I have an alcohol problem, I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records,” Giuliani said, citing his various accomplishments and his job history as evidence refuting the report.
It’s not that kind of Guinness, Rudy.
Wait, that’s not what he meant:
“Nobody could have achieved that if they did [have a drinking problem]. ... I was working 24 hours a day. It’s a big damn lie,” Giuliani told reporters[.]
Anyway! Back to the Haberman report. These lines set up the rest of the piece, which really dives deep into how long this has been going on:
Many who know Mr. Giuliani best are careful to discuss his life, and especially his drinking, with considerable nuance. Most elements of today’s Mr. Giuliani were always there, they say, if less visible. […]
In interviews with friends, associates and former aides, the consensus was that, more than wholly transforming Mr. Giuliani, his drinking had accelerated a change in his existing alchemy, amplifying qualities that had long burbled within him: conspiracism, gullibility, a weakness for grandeur.
Spoiler — it says the slide really started when Rudy failed so spectacularly and everybody hated him so much during the 2008 Republican primary.
Hope he gets the help he needs and also is brought to justice for his crimes against America.
And read it all, as they say on the internet!
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