It’s unkind to speculate over somebody’s mental health. Still, given the stakes, it seems worth saying what everyone is thinking – that Rudolph W. Giuliani’s extraordinary performance on Fox News last night suggests he is a man not fully in control of his mind.
The former New York Mayor, 73, who was hired as Trump’s lawyer less than two weeks ago, dropped a news bomb on Sean Hannity’s show. Giuliani said that Donald Trump repaid $130, 000 hush money that his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had paid to ‘some Stormy Daniels woman’ over her alleged affair with the now president of the Unites States.
Rudy Giuliani: Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen $130K for expenses, but it was not campaign money pic.twitter.com/DUmX0yYiJP
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 3, 2018
This sent the media into paroxysms. Giuliani had just dropped his boss, Donald Trump, into an enormous pile of legal problems – given that Michael Cohen had insisted he acted alone and Trump had denied all knowledge. After the interview, he tried to untangle the mess, telling the New York Times that he had evidence which proved Trump had paid the $130,000 sum through $35,000 monthly instalments “some time after the campaign [was] over.” He also told The Washington Post that he’d spoken to the President before and after the interview, and Trump was well aware that he was going to let this explosive fact slip: “He was well-aware that at some point when I saw the opportunity, I was going to get this over with,” Giuliani said.
He also said, somewhat unconvincingly, that didn’t think he was going to be fired:
Q: So you won’t be fired for saying this?
A: “No! no! no! I’m not going to get fired (laughs). But if I do, I do. It wouldn’t be the first time it ever happened. But I don’t think so, no. (laughs)”
— Robert Costa (@costareports) May 3, 2018
So — what is going on? Is this a cunning fake news trap set by Fox, as some conspiracy-minded Twitterers are saying? That seems doubtful. Ockham’s razor says that Rudy just boobed. Did he, as everyone seems to think, boob by absent-mindedly letting slip a terrible dark secret? Or did he just prattle on because he doesn’t really know what he is saying? Rumours about Giuliani’s mental condition have swirling around Washington and New York for some time. And anybody who saw Rudy’s stark raving mad speech at the Republican National Convention Speech in 2016 will tell you: poor Rudy isn’t right.
Why would Donald Trump, if he’s such a master operator, hire a man to be his lawyer who isn’t entirely in control of his senses? Is it because he just loves watching the drama of his own story on Fox? We may never know the answer.
Giuliani is due to appear on Fox News Business Network at 8 am EST as I write. Oh dear.