I can’t even pretend to understand what Rudy Giuliani thinks he is accomplishing both in his damning statement to The New Yorker, “I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way,” and his “clean up” visit to Fox News where the network’s own headline is, “Rudy Giuliani admits to forcing out Marie Yovanovitch.”
I believe that Fox News has pretty much soured on Giuliani of late. My thesis was further bolstered in this interview. For what it's worth, it was reported earlier this month that Donald Trump had directed Giuliani to stay off Fox News and that he had turned down producers' requests to appear. It doesn't seem to me that Giuliani did himself or Trump any favors in this interview, though.
Host Laura Ingraham signaled both her affection for Giuliani and her wariness about his activity. For example, her response to this Giuliani commentary:
GIULIANI: Maybe [my critics] don’t believe that there was, in fact, substantial corruption in Ukraine that went on for years, and that the president of the United States, when he asked for an investigation, was doing his duty as the president of the United States. Maybe they buy into some form of the Democratic criticism.
But what I uncovered there are two major schemes, one for $7.5 billion, the other for $5 billion, in money laundering that went on all through the Obama administration. Part of it involved Joe Biden, the bribery part. It’s a disgrace that he’s not under investigation for it in America, maybe because our law enforcement is too afraid. But the reality is it’s a complete defense for the president. When the president of the United States was asking the president of Ukraine to investigate, he was asking him to investigate crimes at the highest levels of both governments, that the president of the Ukraine referred to as “we,” meaning, “It’s our problem, joint problem.” So, he’s being impeached for doing the right thing as president of the United States, nothing to be defensive about. Zero.
I'd expect that to be music to Ingraham’s ears and followed by a demand for AG William Barr to immediately take up the matter. Instead, she questioned Giuliani’s claims.
INGRAHAM: Rudy, much of your work in Ukraine hinges on the word of former prosecutor general of the Ukraine, Lutsenko, but here’s how he was described in The New Yorker. Of course, no conservative publication, but you gave them an interview. “Lutsenko, sometimes referred to simply as the corrupt prosecutor general of Ukraine, has been portrayed hardly without reason as an unscrupulous politician prone to telling lies to further his personal ambitions. Lutsenko fed information to Giuliani, which Giuliani, Trump, and their allies spun to smear the reputations of the Bidens and Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump fired in April. One of the House’s star witnesses told of Lutsenko -- said, ‘I don’t think we’d be here if not for him.’”
Putting on her “good cop” hat, Ingraham added, “Now, this hit piece – and it’s a hit piece - also has you on the record admitting that you forced out Marie Yovanovitch.”
That prompted this bizarre exchange:
GIULIANI: Of course, I did.
INGRAHAM: You said you needed her out of the way. But you’re a personal attorney for the president, so why do you need her out of the way?
GIULIANI: I didn’t need her out of the way. I forced her out because she’s corrupt. I came back with a document that will show unequivocally that she committed perjury when she said that she turned down the visa for Mr. Shokin because of corruption. … I have four witnesses who will testify that she personally turned down their visas because they were going to come here and give evidence either against Biden or against the Democratic Party. There's no question that she was acting corruptly in that position and had to be removed. She should've been fired if the State Department weren't part of the deep state.
Ingraham asked why didn’t Trump go to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and just have Yovanovitch removed from her post? Giuliani’s “explanation” was an obvious effort to blame the State Department, which he has done before.
GIULIANI: It didn't go from me to the president. First one to go to the president was Pete Sessions and then a number of congressmen who said that she was saying that he's going to be impeached. And then when I interviewed witnesses, not just Mr. Lutsenko, four other witnesses. They told me that she was specifically holding up visas in order to obstruct the investigation of collusion in the Ukraine and specifically to obstruct the Biden investigation. I have that testimony under oath. I gave it to the State Department. They never investigated a single witness. When they say that she's innocent, it's innocent without investigation.
Again, Ingraham tried to play both sides of the fence. She sneered about witnesses at the impeachment inquiry praising Yovanovitch as a corruption fighter, but didn’t note any actual evidence otherwise. Ingraham also called it “beyond obvious” that Ukraine “wanted Hillary to win.” Yet she stopped well short of saying that Ukraine interfered in our election or colluded with the Clinton campaign. Or even that Joe or Hunter Biden had done anything wrong. Yet Giuliani rattled on about having “tape recordings with Ukrainian officials, including career prosecutors who say that during the Obama era the corruption in Ukraine became substantially worse and that [Yovanovitch] was a contributor to the corruption.”
But Ingraham did ask one very good question, albeit probably for the wrong reason:
INGRAHAM: Why did the president okay the money [to Ukraine]?
GIULIANI: I can't answer that question as to why they're doing that.
INGRAHAM: Well, you talk to him all the time. I wouldn't give ‘em a cent. I wouldn't give ‘em anything.
Then, as the interview wrapped up, Ingraham suggested she was buying what Giuliani was selling without actually saying so.
GIULIANI: Our State Department under Yovanovitch went to the police and told them not to do the investigation and then they demanded they not do the investigation. You know why? Because our embassy was involved in wasting a great deal of that money by giving it to NGOs and when I was asked, do the NGOs have a political bent - do you know the answer I was given? They were Soros-like. They were left of left.
INGRAHAM: Well, I hope you have the president and the Congress and the Senate. We're out of time but I hope Lindsey Graham and all these guys actually do an investigation that's not coming from you but that's coming from a lot of the stuff you've developed. I hope that happens.
Giuliani said he’s willing to show his material to anyone. “So far law enforcement has been afraid to look at it,” he said accusingly.
For all her supposed kinship, Ingraham didn’t ask to look at it either
Watch it below, from the December 16, 2019 The Ingraham Angle and let me know what you think is going on here.
Karma has come around to bite all of them in the azz.
One point for him on account of his mentioning the Democratic Party rather than the Democrat Party, as his evil master does every day and night.
Oh, God, now the moron Gohmert is babbling on about Ukraine invading Georgia…
The obvious intention of the Pence White House’s childish spokesman, and of Fox News and Right Wing media, has been to smear the daylights out of Joe Biden and his son in advance of the 2020 election. Even with the facts showing that the Bidens did nothing wrong, the impression will be the same as what happened with Clinton in 2016 – many uninformed observers will assume the worst, figure “they’re all corrupt” and the overall turnout will be dampened.
I would add that Giuliani is being especially brazen here because he knows that Pence’s childish spokesman is going to get away with his behavior yet again. By holding the GOP caucus together in both houses, the Right Wing has teed it up for Fox News and AM Radio to play the entire impeachment as just a “Democrat ruse”. (Forgetting of course that various Dems in the 1990s voted for impeachment out of their displeasure with Bill Clinton’s behavior, and that the current GOP has completely fallen into lockstep regardless of the facts…)
The key to 2020, as it’s always been, will be for the 2-3 million active Dem voters across the swing states who stayed home in 2016 to show up and vote this time. And that point must be hammered home every single time these smears and lies are thrown around.
Giuliani is not just working for Trump, most of his income is coming from ‘clients’ who are Russian government/mob-connected. Also, he’s just a f’ing moron!
I’ve always found it interesting of late Giuliani keeps boasting the infamously corrupt cast of Ukrainian characters he’s gathered are willing to come to America to save Dear Leader. Yet, Pompeo’s State Department still won’t approve their visas even with Yovanovitch long out of the way. Ditto we keep hearing cries for locking up so many of Trump’s enemies yet sycophant Barr’s DoJ never moves on it. Seems to me Giuliani’s bluff is obvious. But, as we all know, keep repeating the big lie and people like MAGA who want to believe it’s true will believe it. And Fox is the perfect megaphone to repeat it.