Rudolph W. Giuliani says he can get the best out of Donald Trump as he vigorously defends him and lashes out at his enemies, allowing the president to focus on landmark achievements.
“I think the value that I bring to this is I understand him in a way that few other people do,” Mr. Giuliani, the president’s attorney and spokesman, said in an interview with The Washington Times.
“I also understand how to use him correctly,” he said. “This is one of the smartest guys you’re going to meet. And a lot of people underestimate that. They don’t get the best out of him. I thought I did during the campaign. I did a lot of the debate preparation with [former New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie. And the two of us together got the best out of him.”
Mr. Giuliani and President Trump are reunited in a new campaign. This time, it’s Mr. Trump versus special counsel Robert Mueller, his shop of mostly Democratic prosecutors, a rapacious liberal press and the other political party, some of whom want impeachment.
Mr. Trump’s legal team went through a spring shake-up with the departures of career criminal defense lawyers John Dowd and Ty Cobb.
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The president turned to an allied New Yorker who has been a federal prosecutor and a big-city mayor who is capable of quoting law and unleashing political assaults.
Mr. Giuliani sees himself as the perfect arrival, giving the president a trusted friend in a White House that undergoes constant turnover. Old campaign comrades have left; those who remain cannot talk Trump-Russia with the president since Mr. Mueller is interviewing everyone.
John McEntee, an aide constantly at Mr. Trump’s side, was the latest to leave abruptly in March. Before that, Hope Hicks, his White House communications director and formerly Trump Organization executive, resigned after testifying before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“The people around him, a lot of these people are gone,” Mr. Giuliani said. “They knew what they were doing. And some of the people he knows, such as [Trump son-in-law] Jared [Kushner], really can’t communicate with him. Or Don, his son, because they can’t communicate about this. They can talk about public policy.”
Mr. Giuliani’s task? “To me, this is like public service. This will free him up even more to accomplish remarkable things with Korea, China, Iran, which I’m really very interested in.”
Asked how he likes working for the real estate mogul turned anti-establishment, America-first president, Mr. Giuliani said, “I did it during the campaign and loved it. For many years, he’s been my best friend or close to my best friend. I understand him.”
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Early on, Mr. Giuliani appeared as a fiery Trump defender on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
He showed that he will not be confined to arcane legal debates. He routinely criticizes Mr. Mueller’s hiring of Democratic Party donors. He particularly goes after fired FBI Director James B. Comey, who he believes is the president’s main threat.
Mr. Comey wrote contemporaneous memos on his meetings with Mr. Trump and leaked them to The New York Times with a confessed purpose of prompting a special prosecutor investigation. He wrote that Mr. Trump asked him to end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Mr. Trump denies this.
“He’s not going to be worth anything as a witness,” Mr. Giuliani said of Mr. Comey, who is on a book tour for his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.”
Mr. Giuliani knows the FBI from the inside. While U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York — read Manhattan — he launched all-out war against the mob and crooked Wall Street in the 1980s. The FBI provided the surveillance technicians and foot soldiers to penetrate and incriminate Mafia crime families.
In February 1985, he procured indictments against the leaders of New York City’s five mob bosses.
“It was the most dramatic move yet in a state and federal war on the mob that, since August 1983, has resulted in indictments of more than 300 alleged New York Mafia members and associates,” said The Washington Post.
Said Mr. Giuliani, the federal prosecutor: “This is a bad day, probably the worst ever, for the Mafia.”
The indictments and follow-up convictions sent the Genovese, Gambino, Lucchese, Colombo and Bonanno organized crime families into permanent decline.
Today, Mr. Giuliani doesn’t like what he sees at the Justice Department. He criticizes as ill-serving the president: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation; Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who took the mantle and appointed Mr. Mueller; and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.
He said he lets the president know how he feels.
“The president hasn’t had much luck with Wray and Sessions and Rosenstein,” he told The Times. “They seem to be intent on either investigating him or sitting by or rescuing themselves. And then when they get some real ethical and criminal behavior, they go hiding. I don’t get it. I actually don’t get it. I try to explain that to him.”
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz is investigating the FBI’s use of a partisan opposition research paper compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. The Steele dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Under Mr. Comey’s leadership, the FBI made great use of Mr. Steele’s discredited charges and obtained at least one wiretap on a Trump adviser based on the dossier. Agents also embraced the document as a guide to interviewing witnesses.
Mr. Comey told ABC News that he viewed Mr. Steele as credible.
“That means we should try and replicate that work to see if we can develop the same sources,” the former FBI chief said.
On the dossier’s use, Mr. Giuliani told The Times: “I think it’s scandalous. Absolutely scandalous. It’s not the FBI. It’s Comey. I consider Comey to have pretty much proven to be the worst director of the FBI in history.”