The former mayor of New York City has officially lit the last of his credibility on fire.
Last week the New York Post published a story about "evidence" of corruption on a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden.
Son of the Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden has not been secretive about his past, speaking openly about his struggle with drug addiction and acknowledging that his controversial role on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma—during the Obama-Biden administration—was most likely a result of who his father is.
But that candidness has not prevented the Trump campaign from constructing all manner of corruption and shadowy controversy to loom around the former vice president's son.
Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump and his allies have pushed the idea that a full investigation of the Bidens and of Burisma would reveal misconduct on a massive scale. Yet even an investigation headed by Republican senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley through the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees uncovered no evidence that Hunter Biden's role at Burisma had any impact on Obama administration policy.
That's where former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and the legally blind, Trump-supporting owner of a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware enter the picture.
John Paul MacIsaacFacebook
According to John Paul MacIsaac, a person identifying themselves as Hunter Biden entered his Wilmington shop in April of 2019 with a water-logged laptop in need of repair. MacIsaac claims that—because of his limited eyesight—he cannot positively identify the person in question as Hunter Biden and that the security footage from the day Biden visited has since been erased.
It wasn't until some time had passed without the laptop's owner either returning to the shop or sending payment for the repairs that MacIsaac decided to investigate the contents. What he found was damning... if it can be believed.
The story of corruption, drug use, and sexual misconduct has been pushed by Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, with the help of a former producer for Sean Hannity, was published in the New York Post because—according to Giuliani—"either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out."
That process, known as "fact checking," is apparently not much of an issue at the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post. Apparently the credibility of Rudy Giuliani and former Hannity employee/"reporter" Emma-Jo Morris—whose journalistic credentials include a total of three bylines—is so unimpeachable that there was no need to look for contradictory information.
They didn't concern themselves with, for example, the possibility that the real source of the Hunter Biden's emails was not a damaged laptop in a shop more than 2,000 miles from where he was living at the time. They didn't question the possibility that the emails may have been retrieved by a Russian hack or Burisma, or that they might have been altered—as was the case with hacked emails leaked during the 2016 campaign.
No, Rudy Giuliani told them where these emails came from, and that was enough for the New York Post. Thankfully, he's never shown himself to be unreliable opportunist with a "high susceptibility to disinformation," a possible drinking problem, and close connections to probable Russian spies. Thankfully his own daughter didn't recently refer to him in the context of "the cronies who create an echo chamber of lies and subservience to maintain their proximity to power." Oh wait...
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm - Official Trailer | Prime Video www.youtube.com
In case Rudy Giuliani had any credibility left, it went up in a puff of smoke on Wednesday as the first reviews of Borat subsequent Moviefilm were released. While critics were urged not to spoil the most dramatic moments of the movie—scheduled for release on Amazon Prime Video on Friday—Rudy Giuliani's role in the proceedings was too grotesque not to warrant some urgent attention.
The film follows Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, along with Bulgarian actor Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat Sagdiyev's 15-year-old daughter Tutar. Back in July of 2020, Giuliani sat down for an interview with "Tutar" at the ironically named Mark Hotel in upper Manhattan in an incident that ended with Giuliani calling the police.
The way Giuliani characterized it at the time was that he had a fairly normal interview until, he says, "This guy comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit ... It was a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top ... and wasn't what I would call distractingly attractive."
Leaving aside his deeply confused use of the word "transgender," the former mayor was concerned that the whole situation was "a scam or a shakedown" and called the police. Only later did he realize that the man in the mesh top was Sacha Baron Cohen, noting, "I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn't get me."
presented without comment
But that's not quite the story that the film reveals...
In terms of the interview itself, it probably did seem fairly "normal" from Giuliani's perspective. After opening the interview with the nervous pronouncement that the former mayor is "one of her greatest heroes," Bakalova offered some softball questions giving Giuliani opportunities to praise Donald Trump and to attack China on the issue of the coronavirus.
All the while Giuliani conspicuously coughed while flouting social distancing protocol. But it was after the official interview was over that things got truly, deeply upsetting.
Giuliani went with Bakalova into the suite's bedroom to have a "drink," and it's there that Bakalova removes each of their microphones under the watch of a hidden camera. Then Giuliani asks for her phone number and address before laying down on the bed and putting his hands down his pants...
It was at that point that Sacha Baron Cohen burst in, wearing lingerie and telling Giuliani that Bakalova was 15 and therefore "too old." In reality Bakalova is 24, but it makes a bit more sense now why Giuliani thought the situation might be a shakedown. The only real problem is his assertion that Baron Cohen didn't "get" him.
Short of allowing the former mayor to fully strip naked and call himself a fraud on camera, what more could Sacha Baron Cohen have hoped for? Giuliani was either lying about the experience to get ahead of the embarrassment or is so far removed from reality that he really didn't think he'd done anything incriminating.
I am extremely careful. I'm surrounded by bodyguards. I'm surrounded by people. And I always tell them—anywhere, but I always tell them if I'm leaving this country, "Be very careful, because in your hotel rooms and no matter where you go, you're gonna probably have cameras." I'm not referring just to Russia, but I would certainly put them in that category.
And number one, "I hope you're gonna be good anyway. But in those rooms, you have cameras in the strangest places. Cameras that are so small with modern technology, you can't see them and you won't know. You better be careful, or you'll be watching yourself on nightly television."
I tell this to people all the time.
Evidently, Rudy Giuliani wasn't listening.
This is not the person you can trust to go to an interview unsupervised, let alone as a source for vetting secret documents. So much for that story...