Donald Trump has a way of cutting the legs out from under his defenders. That was the case again yesterday in a podcast interview that the president conducted with Geraldo Rivera in which Mr. Trump admitted to sending Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Per CNN, Rivera asked the president, “Was it strange to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine, your personal lawyer? Are you sorry you did that?”
Trump replied, “No, not at all,” and praised Giuliani’s record as a “crime fighter.”
“Here’s my choice: I deal with the Comeys of the world, or I deal with Rudy,” Trump continued, adding that he had a “a very bad taste” in his mouth for the US intelligence community after the Russia investigation despite having his own appointees in charge of US agencies.
“So when you tell me, why did I use Rudy, and one of the things about Rudy, number one, he was the best prosecutor, you know, one of the best prosecutors, and the best mayor,” Trump said. “But also, other presidents had them. FDR had a lawyer who was practically, you know, was totally involved with government. Eisenhower had a lawyer. They all had lawyers.”
Previously, the president had answered, “No, I didn’t direct him,” when asked about Giuliani.
“No, I didn’t direct him, but he’s a warrior, Rudy’s a warrior,” Trump had said in November . “Rudy went, he possibly saw something. But you have to understand, Rudy (has) other people that he represents.”
Trump’s admission underscores both the president’s fundamental dishonesty as well as the incompetence of the Democratic House investigators who erred in abruptly ending the impeachment investigation. While the president has flip-flopped many times and shown that he cannot be trusted, the Democrats blew the opportunity to hold him accountable by not digging deeper to find more evidence, which, as it turned out, emerged rapidly. One new piece of evidence was a letter from Giuliani to President Zelensky introducing himself as the president’s personal attorney,
It is tempting to argue that President Trump would not have made his admission to Rivera if the investigation was ongoing, but with Mr. Trump’s penchant for engaging his mouth before his brain is in gear, anything could have happened. The same applies to other members of the Administration, such as Mick Mulvaney, who admitted to the quid pro quo for military aid back in October.
What is true is that even Trump’s admission would not have made a difference in the final outcome. Many Republicans already admitted that the president behaved badly, but still voted against hearing more witnesses and holding him accountable.
While Mr. Trump is no longer has to fear removal by Congress, he remains in jeopardy of removal by voters. With information still coming out about Trump’s actions, the Ukraine scandal did not end with the Senate vote for acquittal.