I have repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump’s counsel Rudy Giuliani for his record of rampage as counsel. Even before the ruinous work in the Ukraine came to light, Giuliani has assembled a long line of harmful statements. Now, in what may be the worst possible way to respond to a question whether he is concerned that Trump will throw him under the proverbial bus, Giuliani has said that he is not worried because “I have insurance.” It is a statement that raises obvious images of what the Russians call kompromat, or “compromising material.” Whether a joke or serious, it is again a remarkably dim-witted response at the height of an impeachment process.
Giuliani said “you can assume that I talk to him early and often” and that he retains a “very, very good relationship” with Trump. That would seem supported by Trump’s effusive praise of Giuliani recently, though we have seen suddenly reversals in the past. It was what followed that was so jarring: “I’ve seen things written like he’s going to throw me under the bus. When they say that, I say he isn’t, but I have insurance.”
It is bizarre to have Giuliani holding forth on the subject of Ukraine with the Capitol Hill building literally behind him. He has not been subpoenaed to appear in Congress despite his pivotal role. In the interview, he stated “what I did was in order to defend him, not to dig up dirt on [former Vice President Joe] Biden.”
In fairness to Giuliani, there is no legal reason why he could not be advocating for Trump in Ukraine or even looking for dirt. The Clinton campaign did precisely that in the Steele dossier. What is far more disturbing is that Trump would refer to Giuliani in calls like the one with the Ukrainian president. The reason you separate private and public counsel is to avoid these damaging situations. Instead, Trump appeared to tell not just a foreign leader but diplomats to go to Giuliani.
At a time when Giuliani should be silent or parsing his words carefully, he continues to undermine both his and his client’s position with ill-considered and reckless comments.