Patterico's Pontifications

10/25/2019

Rudy Giuliani Brings The Funny: Butt-Dials News Reporter

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:30 pm



[guest post by Dana]

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted by this never-ending circus of indignant, self-righteous politicians moralizing at the American people while We The Actual People witness both sides of the political aisle puff up their smug, self-imagined heroic little chests and launch yet another attack on their enemies and simultaneously expose themselves as little more than money-grubbing, power-driven festering pustules on the pocked-marked ass of the Body Politic.

But. Leave it to security expert Rudy Giuliani to unknowingly inject some much-needed laughs into the putrefying political landscape by butt-dialing a reporter. And not for the first time:

Late in the night Oct. 16, Rudy Giuliani made a phone call to this reporter.

The fact that Giuliani was reaching out wasn’t remarkable. He and the reporter had spoken earlier that evening for a story about his ties to a fringe Iranian opposition group.

But this call, it would soon become clear, wasn’t a typical case of a source following up with a reporter.

The call came in at 11:07 p.m. and went to voicemail; the reporter was asleep.

The next morning, a message exactly three minutes long was sitting in the reporter’s voicemail. In the recording, the words tumbling out of Giuliani’s mouth were not directed at the reporter. He was speaking to someone else, someone in the same room.

Giuliani can be heard discussing overseas dealings and lamenting the need for cash, though it’s difficult to discern the full context of the conversation.

[…]

“You know,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. “Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ‘cause he didn’t do any due diligence.”

It wasn’t clear who Charles is, or who may have been implicated in a fraud. In fact, much of the message’s first minute is difficult to comprehend, in part because the voice of the other man in the conversation is muffled and barely intelligible.

But then, Giuliani says something that’s crystal clear.

“Let’s get back to business.”

He goes on.

“I gotta get you to get on Bahrain.”

Giuliani is well-connected in the kingdom of Bahrain.

The report describes Giuliani interaction and business dealings with Bahrain, which ultimately, seem unclear to me. Perhaps he is more like an ambassador to the country, as the Bahrain News Agency suggested. Or perhaps Giuliani did indeed advise the Bahrain police force on counterterrorism measures… What comes next on the voicemail, though, would make a great scene in a film where two small time bumbling crooks, who are just desperate to pull off at least one big score in their embarrassingly unsuccessful careers, slowly come to the stark realization that, although they have the will to do the job, they just don’t have the brain power left to actually figure out how to make it happen:

Giuliani can be heard telling the man that he’s “got to call Robert again tomorrow.”

“Is Robert around?” Giuliani asks.

“He’s in Turkey,” the man responds.

Giuliani replies instantly. “The problem is we need some money.”

The two men then go silent. Nine seconds pass. No word is spoken. Then Giuliani chimes in again.

“We need a few hundred thousand,” he says.

Actually, all of the messages read like some dark comedy about small-time crooks realizing that whatever edge they once had, and dull as it may have been, is no longer. As for this not being the first time that Giuliani has butt-dialed a reporter:

The first one happened when the NBC News reporter was at a fifth-birthday party for an extended family member in Central Jersey.

It was 3:37 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, and a pink unicorn piñata had just been strung up around a tree in the backyard.

Amid his 3-year-old daughter’s excitement, the reporter decided to let Giuliani’s call go to his voicemail.

The previous day, the reporter interviewed Giuliani for an article quoting several of his former Justice Department colleagues who said they believed he committed crimes in his effort to push the Ukrainians to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.

After the pink unicorn piñata came the bouncy castle and then cake. It wasn’t until at least an hour after the call that the reporter realized it had led to a three-minute voicemail, the maximum his phone allows.

In the message, Giuliani is heard talking to at least one other person. The conversation appears to pick up almost exactly where Giuliani’s phone call with the reporter left off the day before, with Giuliani insisting he was the target of attacks because he was making public accusations about a powerful Democratic politician.

“I expected it would happen,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. “The minute you touch on one of the protected people, they go crazy. They come after you.”

“You got the truth on your side,” an unidentified man says.

“It’s very powerful,” Giuliani replies.

Read the whole report for the details on this conversation. Ultimately, here is the good news and the bad news:

The good news is that there’s no clear evidence of a crime in the transcript, or something even more disastrous like Rudy admitting that the CrowdStrike stuff is kooky nonsense that they’re feeding to the Fox News audience. It’s mostly just him rambling about stuff that sounds crime-y — unknown business he has in Bahrain and Turkey

The bad news is that the writers of the “President Trump” reality show we now inhabit have apparently decided to take the show in a more comic direction.

I’m sure any number of people will start dissecting Guiliani’s voicemails, and shaping them into something that benefits their political preference, as well as adding to their favorite conspiracy theories. Have at it. As for me, it’s been a hella hard week, so I’m just here for the laughs.

P.S. The reporter notes that Giuliani’s phone mailbox is now full. It’s very likely that his butt has been particularly busy with impeachment stuff and all, and that any number of the recipients of those voicemails have filled up his mailbox asking him, or his butt to call them back.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

The Sordid and Gross Story I Was Going to Avoid

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:26 am



[guest post by JVW]

I emailed this site’s gracious host and the co-blogger who is actually good at her craft yesterday to see if either of them were interested in covering the weird and frankly squalid story about the sex scandal which has enveloped freshman Representative Katie Hill, a Democrat from the 25th Congressional District which includes parts of the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, and Ventura County. My interest in this story is largely due to the fact that Ms. Hill beat the incumbent Republican in the last election, ending a quarter-century of GOP control of that seat. This district is exactly the sort of Congressional district that Republicans will need to win back if they hope to regain control of the House of Representatives.

Right now Ms. Hill finds herself in some hot water. Red State broke the story, and National Review has given it coverage. I am uncomfortable enough with the salaciousness of the allegations that I don’t really want to try to craft a detailed narrative, so I am going to just jot down the basic facts in bullet-point format:

* The 32-year-old Ms. Hill, who characterized herself as being bisexual during last year’s campaign, has been married to a man named Kenny Heslep since 2010.

* During last year’s election campaign, Ms. Hill and Mr. Heslep entered into a throuple (i.e., polyamorous) relationship with a 22-year-old woman who had worked on Ms. Hill’s campaign. This arrangement continued after the successful election.

* Sometime this past spring Ms. Hill broke off the relationship with the campaign worker, who did not work for Ms. Hill’s Congressional office.

* Around the same time as Ms. Hill was ending the throuple arrangement, Mr. Heslep says he was told by several people that Ms. Hill was also having a secret affair with her (male) former campaign finance director, who had become the legislative director in her Congressional office.

* The House of Representatives prohibits its members from having romantic or sexual relationships with Congressional staffers. There also might be a rule against being involved with campaign staff as well; it’s somewhat ambiguous.

* After initially denying the arrangement with the female campaign worker, Ms. Hill has now admitted to it and apologized to her constituents. She continues to deny that she has been involved with her legislative director.

* Mr. Heslep has filed for divorce and released text messages implicating his wife in both affairs. Someone (and it’s not hard to guess who) has also leaked pictures of Ms. Hill and the campaign worker to the media, including some which are, to put it delicately, intimate. The photos did, however, force Ms. Hill to acknowledge her involvement with the campaign worker.

* Ms. Hill characterizes her marriage to Mr. Heslep as “abusive” (presumably on his part) and has asked the police to investigate the leak of the intimate photos.

* The House Ethics Committee has launched a formal investigation into Ms. Hill’s involvement with the two employees.

So there you have it. Did Katie Hill run last year on a strong MeToo platform, inveighing against sexual relationships where powerful and connected bosses take advantage of younger, inexperienced employees? You betcha.

My interest in this is entirely political. Does the party leadership determine that Ms. Hill is now too compromised to be an effective candidate for the seat next year (in a year where Democrats performed strongly in California, she won her seat by a little over 21,00 votes, a 54% – 45% margin)? In this red-turned-purple district, are alternative lifestyles so widely accepted these days that polyamory is now given a pass? Is a young white freshman bisexual woman in a swing district an accurate harbinger of California’s future, or is her personal life still a bit too out there for a most voters? Is the person who leaked the intimate pictures a criminal who invaded the personal privacy of two women or a whistleblower who has brought to light potential wrongdoing, at the very least demonstrating the moral ambiguity of sexual relationships in the workplace despite what the MeToo crowd has been preaching?

Exit question: Is Katie Hill a United States Representative come January 2021?

– JVW


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