In 2018, TPM has began awarding its Golden Duke — usually an annual prize — once a week. The honor, named for the scandal-plagued former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, goes to a public figure in the political realm who has distinguished themselves with a display of corruption or general ridiculousness.
This week’s award goes to Rudy Giuliani for reasons that are more or less obvious. The former mayor of New York and presidential candidate hit the airwaves this week to lay out several new facts about the President’s relationship with Michael Cohen — namely, that he knew about and reimbursed Cohen’s payment to Stormy Daniels. Both the President and Cohen, and then Giuliani himself, subsequently tried to back away from those facts.
“He started yesterday. He’ll get his facts straight,” Trump said, adding, “He’s a great guy.”
Perhaps worse, Giuliani is already behind schedule! Two weeks ago, before his media blitz, Giuliani said he would have Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe wrapped up in “a week or two.”
“I don’t know yet what’s outstanding. But I don’t think it’s going to take more than a week or two to get a resolution. They’re almost there,” he told the New York Post. “I’m going to ask Mueller, ‘What do you need to wrap it up?’”
The timeline appears to be a bit different now. On Wednesday, Giuliani told The Hill that a potential interview between President Trump and the special counsel was still “several weeks away.”
We’re in for more fun. Giuliani appears to be part of a new legal strategy by the President’s team, also indicated by the replacement of lawyer Ty Cobb with Clinton impeachment attorney Emmet Flood, to get more aggressive in its dealings with Mueller.
For making the administration’s public response to the Mueller investigation that much more of a wild ride, Rudy Giuliani is our Duke of the Week.