Politics

What made Trump and Giuliani such a toxic match made in heaven? Greed

After Rudy Giuliani left public life, he changed, according to a profile of the former New York mayor in The Washington Post. Trading on his high-profile turn as America’s Mayor following 9/11, Giuliani suddenly realized he could make millions as a public speaker abroad. He was hooked. 

“His values seemed to change,” journalist and Giuliani biographer Andrew Kirtzman told the Post. “He was the least materialistic figure I’d ever covered back in his prosecutorial and mayoral days. His interest was always in power, not money. Then he became a man who was very interested in money.”

In fact, Giuliani’s former press secretary during his 1993 mayoral run remembers Giuliani’s exacting integrity around money. “There was a time when he wouldn’t take dirty money or questionable money or money of dubious origin,” said Ken Frydman, explaining that he had particularly high standards for his donors. “Today, it seems he’ll take money from anyone.”

Ah, there it is: He’ll take money from anyone. Remind you of anyone? Like two peas in a pod. Which is why the numerous conflicts of interest posed by Giuliani’s clients abroad never bothered Donald Trump in the least, even as Giuliani became a central player in Trump‘s foreign policy. From Turkey to Venezuela to Romania to Ukraine, Giuliani was giving Trump advice “for free” on one end while selling his access as a Trump power broker on the other. He lobbied Cabinet members on Turkey’s behalf; worked for the ouster of U.S Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, which just happened to align with the wishes of a Ukraine prosecutor Giuliani was buddying up to; and sought to persuade the criminal division of the Department of Justice on behalf of a Venezuelan client. 

Shortly after Trump‘s election in 2016, Giuliani made it known that he wanted the secretary of state post, but Trump aides concluded that his connections overseas posed too many conflicts of interest. Instead, Giuliani wormed his way into heading up Trump‘s shadow foreign policy while still enriching himself through his clients abroad. 

While Trump‘s advisers have grown increasingly worried about the probe by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that has already ensnared two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Trump is still publicly selling Giuliani as an anticorruption crusader. “He’s a good man and he’s an honorable guy and he’s a great crime fighter, corruption fighter,” Trump told Fox News last month in a rambling 57-minute diatribe. 

Well, Attorney General William Barr reportedly has news for Trump. The Post writes that Barr has counseled Trump several times in recent months that Giuliani is a liability. Of course, Giuliani almost surely has receipts on Trump, which is why he’s always frantically waving his phone around on TV. The only thing more compelling than greed in the Trump-Giuliani hierarchy of priorities is survival, so this could get really interesting before it’s all over.


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