Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani thrust himself back into the news cycle this week when he revealed that President Trump repaid the $130,000 hush payment made by his attorney, Michael Cohen, to porn star Stormy Daniels. The statement contradicted the position held by Trump and his White House officials, and called into question yet again the possible violation of campaign finance law by the Trump campaign. It also forced many within the media and the general population to wonder what happened to Giuliani himself, who was once viewed with austerity, thanks to his handling of post-9/11 NYC. What many don’t realize—and what John Oliver detailed in this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight—is that Giuliani was always problematic and squandered any goodwill he might have garnered.
During his time as a federal prosecutor and as Mayor of New York City, Giuliani exhibited an affinity for fame that clouded public views of his oppressive crackdown on crime. In between famously going undercover as the most well-dressed member of the Hell’s Angels, and appearances in films and television programs, Giuliani increased enforcement of “quality of life” crimes, such as jaywalking and panhandling, that unfairly targeted minorities to the point that members of his city’s police force felt conflicted while adhering to the policies. His weekly radio show, meant to engage with citizens of the city, felt more like a political talk show in which a headstrong Giuliani engaged in spats with residents over his policies on something as benign as ferret ownership. As political issues mounted alongside his personal issues, such as his previous marriage to his second cousin and the failure of his current marriage, 9/11 happened and his handling of its fallout earned him the moniker “America’s Mayor.”
Giuliani quickly squandered that goodwill during his failed bid for the presidency in 2008 as his platform amounted to very little, other than routing everything back to 9/11. He crashed and burned dramatically, falling back to the relative obscurity of being a cable news political pundit and hype man for AMC’s “Mob Week” film block. It wasn’t until he began parroting the conspiracy theories and non-starters that populated the rhetoric of the Trump campaign on television that he proved any political use to anyone.
Now, with a man who appears eerily similar to Giuliani in the White House, he has emerged within the political machine once again, moving from Trump’s cybersecurity advisor to a member of his current position on the president’s legal team. It would be no surprise if Giuliani ends up the latest attorney to run for the door after this week’s reveal and his attempts to further qualify it, but Oliver points out that his similarities to Trump could lead him to higher rankings, thanks to our current political climate. It seems like such advancement would be hard, though, considering Oliver and team scooped up a litany of Giuliani-related web domains with the simple purpose of reminding him of his past through variousferret-basedimages.
Check out the latest episode of Last Week Tonight below and revisit our favorite Giuliani-mocking tweets from last week right here.