Late Night Russiagate Open Thread: Truth Is Relative, and None of Rudy’s Relatives Speak to Him

In 1984, Cohn fell ill, suffering from HIV. As Cohn lay dying at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md., Trump distanced himself from his longtime friend. Cohn believed Trump had cut him off because he was HIV-positive…

And yet…

39 replies
  1. 1
    oatler. says:

    “Holy smokes, he’s a Toon!”

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    “Arby’s macht fries.”
      – Rudy Giuilani

  3. 3
    jl says:

    I hope Rudy is studying up on the ‘brain in a vat’ argument Too bad Hilary Putnam ain’t here anymore to interview him on the TV. For anti-intellectuals, the Trumpsters are sure fond of super precious philosophical discourse to defend their incompetent crook hero Trump.

    Giuliani is awful, but Todd is awful too. Todd pretty much stopped the interview for a few minutes while postured around grinning with the ‘gotcha’ Rudy lobbed to him. The Trumpsters have been making this argument about entrapment for a long time. Has Todd put any effort into how to seriously question knaves like Giuliani when they trot it out again, as anyone should know they will.

    I don’t see any sign of it. Todd wants a big gotcha, and he got it. Trump has degraded the federal government by turning into a bog reality show, and that was one of his come-ons in the campaign. But most of the hideously failed corporate public affairs and news media had already turned into a cheapo third-rate reality show. And a good swindler like Trump knows how to exploit the weak spots.

    Sorry for such a cynical take, but Todd’s gleeful posturing, at the expense of doing a serious interview (which I think is beyond his skill), really pissed me off.

  4. 4
    Ruckus says:

    Trump spent the last weekend of his vacation realizing his WH counsel – the guy he sent to try to talk Sessions into un-recusing himself – has been helping Mueller…

    …and how was your weekend?

    Aren’t you glad he’s on vacation?

  5. 5
    Balconesfault says:

    Useful to remember that Trump’s law firm, before he became Prez, would never allow only a single attorney to meet with Trump … Because it was a given that there needed to be corroboration of whatever was discussed.

  6. 6
    Ruckus says:


    which I think is beyond his skill

    You win the prize behind door 3 for the correct answer to the easiest question ever on a game show. You would have won the grand prize if you hadn’t used the qualifier of “which I think” because otherwise you got it 100% correct in the shortest time.

  7. 7
    Balconesfault says:

    @jl: you’re absolutely right. Todd is either intellectually incapable of a real discussion over ideas … or too much a toady … so he falls back on cheap gotchas as his only way of pushing back against even the most outrageous guests.

  8. 8
    Ruckus says:

    Who’s going to back up Rudy?
    Bozo the clown?

    I might just scream next time someone tells me it’s all a set up with Rudy. It’s not, what you see is what there is. And that ain’t a lot.

  9. 9
    Platonailedit says:


    Let me remind everyone Rudy Giuliani is either a suspect or a witness in the Russia probe. And if you put him on air and you don’t ask about his Russian ties, you’re not doing your job. You’re simply promoting Trump propaganda. And you’re validating his words, which are nonsense.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 19, 2018

    fuck. chuck. toad.

  10. 10
    montanareddog says:

    Unlike Conway’s “alternative facts” which was a pathetic attempt to spin blatant lying, I will cut Giuliani some slack here. “Truth isn’t truth” was a very clumsy response but it is, paradoxically, true. In a “Rashomon” situation, you cannot take one person’s word as the truth, even if the other person is a known liar.

    The most startling thing that I took from the interview is that Giuliani, the supposed lawyer for Trump, went on MTP to spin the situation having no idea what McGahn was asked and actually said to the Special Counsel’s team. These guys really are that incompetent.

  11. 11
    Mike G says:

    “Michael Cohen is an honest, honorable lawyer.” – 9udy Gui11ani, May 6, 2018
    “Michael Cohen is a pathological liar, we’ve known that for years.” – 9udy Gui11ani, July 28, 2018

  12. 12
    Ruckus says:

    Rudy is not smart or cunning enough to play the kind of word games you are describing. Rudy, as you obviously know, from your second graph really is that incompetent.

  13. 13
    montanareddog says:

    @Ruckus: Oh, I agree that he is not smart or cunning but I don’t think he was playing word games. It was an infelicitous phrase, but he was expressing a trial lawyer’s experience that all humans, even those who take contemporaneous notes, are unreliable witnesses to some degree or another.

  14. 14
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    When it comes to conservatives, they would be howling to high heaven if a lawyer for a Democratic president were to have said it. Hell, any Democrat for that matter. You can give him that pass, I’ll pass on that pass.

    The truth is the truth and I’m not going to let conservatives redefine it.

  15. 15
    montanareddog says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: I am willing to give him the pass because it is a shiny squirrel. Witness Chuck Todd, who would not know a real gotcha if it hit him square upside the noggin, chewing the scenery when Giuliani said it.

    The important takeaway from each of Giuliani’s interviews is that they do not want Trump to speak with the Special Counsel because Trump is as guilty as sin. Trump can either admit to crimes or perjure himself about those crimes. Mueller knows everything. “Perjury trap” is just their attempt to spin that dilemma.

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    Mr Mayor? I know how you Americans are with people’s old job titles, but it’s been 16 years since Rudy G was mayor of New York City.

    It’s just a waste of time for Giuliani to be on TV. He has no fucking clue what he’s talking about. He spouts nonsense like this. He’s had only a negative effect on Trump’s credibility and claims of innocence. He’s not even very funny any more.

  17. 17
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    He’s not even very funny any more.

    He was never funny. He has been a joke for quite a while though. @montanareddog:
    From what I understand he was never much of a trial lawyer either.
    I don’t give him the pass either, especially as he’s running interference for someone who should never have been put into a position to need it.
    I know he’s guilty, you know he’s guilty, I’m not sure rudy knows. But at least he should suspect he’s guilty, if he’s any kind of lawyer.

  18. 18

    @Amir Khalid:

    Mr Mayor? I know how you Americans are with people’s old job titles, but it’s been 16 years since Rudy G was mayor of New York City.

    Unless he gets another job at a higher level, maybe Trump’s AG, he’ll be Mr. Mayor for life. It’s just how we do things.

  19. 19


    He was never funny.

    Ah, come on, remember when he wanted to “suspend” term limits after 9/11 because they couldn’t change mayor during a crisis? THAT was high comedy.

  20. 20
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    Go right ahead…

    As far as what you are saying here, it’s a swing and a miss (IMO). Rudy doesn’t want the Orange Anus to talk to Mueller because he KNOWS that Hair Furor WILL lie as sure as the sun is coming up tomorrow. Rudy is right about the truth not being the truth as far as Cheeto Jesus is concerned, and that’s what he’s worried about. The Fuckface Nazi Rapeclown doesn’t give a shit about the truth because in his world, the truth has always been whatever he says it is. Mueller doesn’t live in that world and that scares Rudy.

    Herr Gropenfurher thinks he can bullshit his way through Mueller and I hope to Hell that he tries to.

  21. 21
    jonas says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    He’s had only a negative effect on Trump’s credibility and claims of innocence.

    Rudy’s job isn’t to present a coherent defense of the President; he’s there to distract Trump’s base with plumes of bullshit chaff so that they can feel safe disregarding whatever is in Mueller’s report. He’s going to have truck drivers in South Carolina talking like they’re in a graduate metaphysics seminar by the end of this: “What do words like ‘collusion’ and ‘conspiracy’ or even ‘law’ mean in a world where we’re not even sure *we* exist? I mean, ‘I think therefore I am’ is such a naive position in a post-Kantian context…”

  22. 22
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Balconesfault: in fairness, that’s just good practice generally. But this is a nightmare client.

    Doesn’t pay.
    Gives you inaccurate facts to work with.
    Doesn’t pay.
    Easily distracted – can’t get him to focus on anything.
    Doesn’t pay.
    Doesn’t read anything longer than a page, if that.
    Doesn’t pay.
    Keeps making public statements undermining everything you worked on.
    Doesn’t pay.
    Living embodiment of Dunning-Kruger: “no, it was Agent Orange in the movie. You just didn’t like the movie.”
    Doesn’t pay.
    Too stupid to understand your advice.
    Doesn’t pay.

  23. 23
    Ken says:


    they do not want Trump to speak with the Special Counsel because Trump is as guilty as sin

    Well, yes. But it goes deeper than that, as Odie Hugh Manatee alludes. Trump will not limit the lies to cover his guilt. There’s a better than 50-50 chance he’ll lie when asked to state his name for the record.

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    Where did the formatting go?
    ETA: And as soon as I ask, it comes back. I have magical powers!

  25. 25
    Wag says:

    “. Trump has degraded the federal government by turning into a bog reality show,”

    Trump will never drain the swamp. The bog that is Washington DC has become his hiding place.

  26. 26


    Rudy’s job isn’t to present a coherent defense of the President

    I think you are incorrect. Rudy’s job is to go on television and convince the entire country, and especially all television pundits – all of them – that Trump is completely innocent and in fact the greatest president of all time, and anyone who he dislikes is a criminal he should have the right to brutally execute. But mostly the innocent part, at which point Mueller will magically disappear. Giving the base excuses is a side effect. Rudy is actually godawful bad at his job, and is somehow slowly turning Trump-friendly pundits with heads legendarily stuck up their asses against him.

    There is plenty of evidence that this is how Trump thinks and what Trump cares about. He is obsessed with TV coverage of himself.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    Giuliani doesn’t care. He’s getting air time. At least he’s not showing up in drag.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl: Chuckles needs to hang from the same gallows as Rudy.

  29. 29
    Calouste says:

    @Amir Khalid: Deep in their hearts, a lot of Americans want a monarchy with Dukes and Earls and Marquises. But they can’t have, so they use Senator and Governor and such as if they are titles for life.

  30. 30
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Crudy Ghouliani, AG. No. not “attorney-general”-“America’s Goombah.” And goombahs gotta goombah. (Trust me on this, I’m half Sicilian by ancestry.)

  31. 31
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @MattF: So we get Ghouliani instead of Julie-Annie. Not much of an improvement.

  32. 32
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Chuck Todd richly deserves to morph into Choked Toad.

  33. 33
    Jay Noble says:

    @Amir Khalid: Always been a pet peeve of mine – You don’t hold the position any more, you don’t get the honorific unless by the word “former”. Mayor, governor, officer, senator, judge, president – not your job, not your title. Wahington died as Mr. Washington.

    I’m a little wishy-washy on military but they seem to be pretty good about noting (Ret.) for retired in their titles.

  34. 34
    Ruckus says:


    There is plenty of evidence that this is how Trump thinks and what Trump cares about. He is obsessed with TV coverage of himself.

    What little, and poor, thinking that shitgibbon does is about him being on TV in a positive light. It’s been obvious for a long time that all he cares about is how everyone else in the world sees him. Unfortunately most of us see him for what he really is but he has a following for sure, the people like him, racists and people who want to be liked for outrageous behavior and appearances.
    IOW LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!

  35. 35
    Mo MacArbie says:

    I thought New Yorkers styled that “Hizzoner”.

  36. 36
    W. Kiernan says:

    Giuliani says if you ask Trump to testify he’ll fall into a perjury trap, but in the same breath he claims that the only evidence of that perjury would be one person’s word against the other’s. But no judge in the country will convict a defendant of perjury on the grounds of “he said/she said,” even if the defendant is notoriously as casually dishonest as Donald “truthful hyperbole” Trump. If there is a perjury trap it would be primed with far more irrefutable material evidence such as emails, audio and video recordings, bank statements, or at the least “he said/she and he and she and she and he… said.” And in that case there would be truth, truth that is truth, that a judge and jury can get their hands on.

    The other issue is, what Trump could be accused of is not just a potential political embarrassment but an actual crime. The idea of a perjury trap is to get a defendant to lie about something that is not illegal but embarrassing, e.g. the Clinton/Lewinsky affair. As even the addled Giuliani is aware, there’s a legal out when a defendant is being questioned regarding his participation in an actual crime; he need not lie himself into a perjury trap, he can simply plead the Fifth Amendment.

  37. 37
    gammyjill says:

    What was this about Rudy’s family not talking to him. Did I miss something?

  38. 38
    jl says:

    @W. Kiernan: Thanks for info. IANAL, but this info is an example of how Todd should have prepared. I’ve lost count of how many times Giuliani has brought up this perjury trap stuff, and all Todd can do is mug and posture with meme-ish outrage.

  39. 39
    Jinchi says:

    Reminds me of Newt Gingrich’s quote:

    “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood:”

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