Since their first public hearing kicked off last Thursday night, the January 6 committee has used the testimony of Trump insiders to demonstrate that Donald Trump was told over and over, time and time again, that there was no proof the 2020 election had been stolen from him, and that Joe Biden had won fair and square. As former campaign manager Bill Stepien testified, he’d explained to Trump that, due to voting patterns, the “early returns [would be] positive” and that they needed to “wait and see” how things turned out. As Stepien, senior adviser Jason Miller, and then first daughter Ivanka Trump all told the panel, they did not believe Trump had any evidence to declare victory on election night. One person did though, and that person? Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, better known as Rudy Giuliani. Who was seemingly three sheets to the wind when he advised Trump to get out there and just claim he won.
And while the last number of years have made it clear that the ex-mayor of New York turned Trump consigliere does not need alcohol to make bad decisions, panel vice chair Representative Liz Cheney used her opening remarks on Thursday to reference testimony that alleged Giuliani was indeed drunk on election night. Noting that Trump was said to have rejected the advice of advisers who urged him to wait til the numbers were in, Cheney charged that Trump “followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani, to just claim he won, and insist that the vote counting stop—to falsely claim everything was fraudulent.” That claim was backed up by both Stepien and Miller, the latter of whom told the panel Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated.”
Yet according to the former mayor, who seemingly reaches a new rock bottom every few months, reports of his intoxication are patently false. “I am disgusted and outraged at the outright lie by Jason Miller and Bill Steppien [sic],” Giuliani wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, claiming that if he was acting erratically, it was because he was angry that they weren’t addressing his and Trump’s fake claims of voter fraud. “I was upset that they were not prepared for the massive cheating (as well as other lawyers around the President) I REFUSED all alcohol that evening. My favorite drink..Diet Pepsi.” He added: “Is the false testimony from Miller and Steppien because I yelled at them? Are they being paid to lie?”
Giuliani subsequently deleted the tweets; also on Tuesday, he responded, “Yes he did unfortunately,” to someone who tweeted at him that “The President surrounded himself with spineless Quislings. Thank you for hanging in there Mr Mayor. I admire loyal people.”
While it’s not clear at this time if the good people at PepsiCo demanded Giuliani remove any mention of their product from his timeline for fear of association, what is clear is that there had been previous reports that the guy was hammered on the night of the election. In addition to the testimony from Miller, Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker wrote in their book I Alone Can Fix It that observers believed Giuliani was drinking too much on election night, while author Michael Wolff told MSNBC last year that “Rudy was incredibly drunk, weaving this way and that way.… Trump’s aides were obviously, or rightly concerned about what Giuliani was saying to the president about the election and giving him misinformation, but they were also concerned that he was going to break [priceless artifacts]” in the White House’s China Room. (In another MSNBC appearance, Wolff also said that Giuliani was, “if not constantly drunk, certainly buzzed…throughout most of the Trump administration.“)
For his part, Giuliani has a long history of denying he has a drinking problem. Responding to the suggestion by his ex-wife that he’s an alcoholic, he told New York magazine in 2019: “I did occasionally drink. I love Scotch. I can’t help it. All of the malts. And part of it is cigars—I love to have them with cigars. I’m a partyer.” Last year, responding to the claims he was drunk on election night, he told NBC New York: “I don’t think I’ve ever done an interview drunk. I mean, I drink normally. I like Scotch, I drink Scotch.”
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