Former New York City Rudy Giuliani sat for an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday morning. Giuliani, as he has been since signing on with Donald Trump, was reflexively defensive of the Republican nominee — insisting that so much of Trump’s bad press was the fault of a biased liberal media. I found the whole interview fascinating. Using Genius, I annotated it. You can too! Sign up for Genius and annotate alongside me! To see an annotation, click or tap the highlighted part of the transcript.
TAPPER: Joining Trump as he prepares for the debate today is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Mr. Mayor, thanks for coming back once again.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Nice to be here, Jake.
TAPPER: So, last time you were on this program, we talked about whether Donald Trump had ever groped women without their consent, the way he described doing so on the “Access Hollywood” tape.
This — this is a snippet of our conversation there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Who did he do that to?
GIULIANI: Well, first of all, I don’t know that he did it to anyone. This is talk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So, that was — that was Sunday morning.
Since you and I had that conversation, nine women have come forward and said, effectively: Yes, Donald Trump either kissed me or touched me sexually without my consent.
Their names are Jessica Leeds and Kristin Anderson…
GIULIANI: Right. Right.
TAPPER: … Temple Taggart McDowell, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Cathy Heller, Natasha Stoynoff, Summer Zervos, and Cassandra Searles.
Mr. Mayor, do you believe every one of these women are lying?
GIULIANI: No, I believe my friend Donald Trump when he tells me he didn’t do it.
I know Donald. I have been with him for 28 years. I have never seen him do anything like that. I haven’t been able to focus on every single one of the things that they have said.
The one on the airplane, there’s an independent witness who says it’s not true. The involving the…
TAPPER: That guy who used to procure underage — that former pimp guy you’re talking about that…
GIULIANI: Well, look, you don’t pick who the witnesses are to watch something.
I don’t get to select who the witnesses are that are sitting around me. So far, no one has come forward to corroborate what she said. And this man has come forward on his own and said it’s not true.
Second, one of them, I think it was a — one of the contestants, was telling her cousin wonderful things about him up until the time he didn’t go to her restaurant opening about three or four months ago. Then she turned on him and became very bitter. And he doesn’t believe it’s true.
TAPPER: So, you think the nine women are lying. You believe Donald Trump.
GIULIANI: I would not say it that way. I believe Donald Trump. I don’t know about the nine women. I haven’t studied the case.
I’m a lawyer. I would have to study each case to tell you — to tell you about. I’m going to engage in Clinton-type conduct and attack them. I’m just telling you that I believe he’s telling the truth.
GIULIANI: I do not believe — some of these things appear to me on their face to be kind of untrue.
GIULIANI: Fifteen minutes of groping in a first-class cabin of an airplane, it doesn’t make sense. I have been in first class a lot, fortunately. Since I stopped being mayor, I can afford first class.
I have — you see everything that goes on in first class.
TAPPER: So, Donald Trump — you just kind of alluded to the fact that Donald Trump has condemned the Clintons for attacking Bill Clinton’s accusers, the women who accused Bill Clinton of misconduct. You’re kind of refraining from doing so, even though you’re questioning some of these accounts.
But Donald Trump is out there on stages calling them liars and actually, in some instances, attacking how attractive they are, basically suggesting that they are not attractive enough for him to ever kiss or grope without consent.
For those voters out there, Mr. Mayor, who are inclined to believe all of these women, all nine of Trump’s charge — of Trump’s accusers and Bill Clinton’s accusers, and just say, you know what, I believe all these women, how are they supposed to reconcile this, given the fact that, empirically, Trump is attacking these women much, much more so than the Clintons ever did?
GIULIANI: No, that’s not true.
TAPPER: Sure, it is.
GIULIANI: Oh, it is not. The bimbo squad.
TAPPER: Donald Trump is out there giving speeches attacking them, calling them liars and saying that they are not good-looking enough.
(CROSSTALK) GIULIANI: I really don’t want to dispute this with you. I mean, the four women who I met with told me that Hillary Clinton was engaged in all kinds of attacks on them both public and private.
But, in any event, should we be beyond that now? Should we be beyond Donald Trump’s past and Hillary Clinton’s past? And should we be talking about who is going to raise taxes and lower taxes, who is going to deal with ISIS, who isn’t, who created ISIS, what are we going to do in Somalia, where, obviously, we have a — we have a — we have a ground war going on in Somalia? Although the president says no boots on the ground, we have boots on the ground.
TAPPER: Yes, these are things that Donald Trump is not mentioning in his speeches at all.
Donald Trump’s speeches, as you know, are basically…
TAPPER: He goes out there and he attacks the women who are accusing him.
And, by the way, when you talk about shouldn’t we be over this, Donald Trump — the women that you have just referred to, the three who accuse Bill Clinton of sexual assault or worse and the woman who Hillary Clinton was a court-appointed attorney to represent her rapist, those four women, Donald Trump brought them to the Republican debate.
It’s not the media making sexual assault this issue. Donald Trump is the one making sexual assault an issue.
GIULIANI: They asked to go. They asked to come.
But the reality is, can we get off it? Do we have to take the bait? I mean, why don’t — the fact is, I was with Donald Trump all day yesterday. He mentioned the women for about two or three minutes. And then talked about trade. In Maine, he talked about preserving their forestland. In New Hampshire, he talked — obviously, in New Hampshire, you’re going to talk a lot about taxes, live free or die, state of New Hampshire.
He talked about how he’s going to reduce taxes to 33, 25 and 15 percent. She’s going to raise taxes to 45 percent. If I become president, there will be more money in your pocket. If she becomes president, she is going to take the money out of your pocket, and she’s going to do an expanded Obamacare.
He pointed out that, in WikiLeaks, she’s told us what we have always known, that she prefers socialized medicine. I find WikiLeaks very refreshing. This is the Hillary Clinton I always knew existed. I just never had proof of it.
People would say to me, she’s a socialist, and I would say, OK, but you can’t prove it. Well, she was in Canada. She was talking to the Canadian bank or whatever. She says, I like your system, your socialized system of medicine a lot better than ours.
So, or, I say something private that’s different than something public. I have always known she was a liar, and over and over and over again a phony.
So, those things are things that are being concentrated on also, not just — not just these women.
TAPPER: Right. And we have been covering the WikiLeaks. I understand what — I under…
GIULIANI: I know you have. I’m not criticizing you. I’m just explaining to you…
TAPPER: Donald Trump is talking…
GIULIANI: … when Donald — when Donald — when Donald Trump gives a speech, he goes over what he wants to do with the Second — he’s in favor of the Second Amendment. She’s against the Second Amendment.
TAPPER: I got it.
GIULIANI: He goes through all that, gives a long explanation.
TAPPER: Sure. I understand that.
Let me bring up something that Donald Trump is bringing up on the stump all the time. First of all, I mean, I think you would agree with the premise that our form of government has been strong because politicians accept the outcomes of elections, especially the most notable example in recent history with then Vice President Al Gore conceding after the very intense Florida recount.
I want you to take a look at what a Trump supporter, Dan Bowman of Ohio, told “The Boston Globe” — quote — “If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot.” He’s a 50-year-old contractor. “There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed, but that’s what it’s going take. I would do whatever I can for my country.”
There are a lot of Republican officials who are very concerned about Donald Trump constantly saying that the system is rigged, saying that if he loses a state…
TAPPER: … such as Pennsylvania, it’s only because it will be stolen. And now we have a Trump supporter calling for bloodshed.
Are you not concerned at all about the tone and tenor of these remarks?
GIULIANI: Well, I have — I have dealt with wacky jerks on my side and against me for too long to blame it on — to blame it on the candidate.
You can find just as many wacko nuts on her side that write us horrible and awful things. So, when he talks about a rigged election, he’s not talking about the fact that it’s going to be rigged at the polls. What he’s talking about is that 80 percent to 85 percent of the media is against him, that when you look at “The New York Times,” when you pick it up every morning, on the top of the paper, there are three stories that are anti-Trump, some of them totally baseless, some of some silly.
And then, at the bottom, you get a little something about WikiLeaks or…
GIULIANI: Same thing with “The Washington Post.” I mean, they’re way out of control, “The Daily News,” clown outfits of Donald Trump.
TAPPER: OK. But, Mr. Mayor, I understand that that’s…
GIULIANI: And you know that. Please, let me finish. You let Nancy Pelosi go on for like two, three minutes without interrupting her.
Now, the reality — the reality is that he makes it clear. He points right at you, at the press. He makes it clear who he thinks is rigging the election.
TAPPER: Then why does he call for people to go to elections — to go to polling places to be election monitors?
GIULIANI: Oh, OK. OK.
TAPPER: Why does he say, if I lose Pennsylvania, it will be because that it’s stolen, Pennsylvania, a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1988?
GIULIANI: There are — there are — there are a few places, and not many in the swing states, there are a few places where they have been notorious for stealing votes, Pennsylvania, Chicago. There have been places where a lot of cheating has gone on over the years.
I know that from my own knowledge of bussing people in from Camden. When I ran for mayor of New York City the first time, some people voted eight and 10 times. And the second time, I had — I had firefighters and police officers outside checking on the buses, so we take down the number of the bus. The bus had voted 10 times. And then we wouldn’t let the bus vote again.
TAPPER: So, you’re… GIULIANI: And when I asked Randy Levine, who is now the president of the Yankees, who did this for me, I said, how much of the cheating did we stop, he said, I think we stopped about 75 percent of it. We’re still going to have to give them about 25,000 votes.
GIULIANI: I’m sorry. Dead people generally vote for Democrats, rather than Republicans.
TAPPER: So, he’s not talking about elections being stolen, except, in some cases, when he is talking about elections being stolen.
GIULIANI: Yes, I would be talking — you want me — to tell me that I think the election in Philadelphia and Chicago is going to be fair, I would have to be a moron to say that.
I would have to dislearn everything I learned in 40 years of being a politician.
TAPPER: The Republican Party of Philadelphia would disagree with you.
They looked into the allegations from 2012, and they said that there was nothing irregular with what happened there.
GIULIANI: Well, maybe…
TAPPER: Yes, there are areas where people only voted for Obama, just like in Utah there are places that only voted for Mitt Romney.
GIULIANI: Maybe, maybe, maybe there are situations in which it’s right.
I don’t — I remember a case when I was associate attorney general where 720 dead people voted in Chicago in the 1982 election. I remember, in my own election, about 60 dead people voted. So, I can’t sit here and tell you that they don’t cheat.
And I know because they control the polling places in these areas. There are no Republicans, that it’s very hard to get people there who will challenge votes.
So, what they do is, they leave dead people on the rolls, and then they pay people to vote those dead people four, five, six, seven, eight, nine times.
TAPPER: It’s — I have to — we have to go, Mr. Mayor.
But just to put a button on this, it sounds as though you are saying that Trump is serious when he says that the election is going to be stolen.
GIULIANI: No, I’m not saying that.
TAPPER: You just laid out a whole case about how Democrats steal elections.
GIULIANI: Look, if she wins Illinois by 8 percent or he wins Illinois by 8 percent, then that cheating is going to make any difference.
If he wins Pennsylvania by 5, or she wins by 5, it will make no difference. If it’s a one- or two-point race, it could make a difference in a few places. Not going to make a difference in Indiana. Not going to make a difference in North Carolina. Not going to make a difference in some — a lot of other places, where they don’t have this traditional cheating.
TAPPER: That’s not an affirmation of the way our elections are held in this country. But we — I’m sorry.
GIULIANI: Well, we do cheat. We have people who cheat in elections.
TAPPER: You’re saying only Democrats, only Democrats cheat?
GIULIANI: I have found very few situations where Republicans cheat.
They don’t control the inner cities, the way Democrats do. Maybe if Republicans controlled the inner cities, they would do as much cheating as Democrats. I think Republicans…
TAPPER: I think there are a lot of elections experts that would have very, very strong disagreements with you.
GIULIANI: Well, then they — they never prosecuted election fraud.
TAPPER: All right, Mr. Mayor thank you so much. Appreciate it.
GIULIANI: Thank you.