Daily Revolt

December 09, 2007

Rudolph Giuliani Grilled on Meet The Press

Tim Russert put "America's Mayor" on the defensive while appearing on Meet The Press, shown Sunday. The host had some really tough questions for Mr.Giuliani. None more difficult that his explanation for giving his then mistress, Judith Nathan, police protection:

MR. GIULIANI:  Well, this is—let, let me explain because it has something to—it all has to do with me.  All of this came about because of me, and all of it came about because of the work that I did.  I’ve had security on and off for over 20 years.  It’s not something I asked for, it’s not something you particularly want, it’s not something she would want.  This comes about because of threats, and people threaten to kill you , people threaten to harm you.  I had these threats back when I was the United States attorney.  There was a revelation in court of one that had been secret for a long time.  I don’t, I don’t talk, talk about them.  I’m—this is a part of my profession also, evaluating threats.  And the reality is that my family has been subjected to threats, my loved ones have been subjected to threats, my assistants have been subjected to threats.  When they happen, I have—I handle them in a professional way.  If they’re threats about other people, I’ll make the evaluation of it.  If it’s a threat about me or somebody I love or somebody that’s close to me, I turn it over to professionals to evaluate. I’ve, I’ve been fortunate to have very good professionals that have taken care of these threats for me, for my family and for my loved ones—United States marshals, when I was United States attorney, the New York City Police Department.  Every single thing done here was done based upon the assessment of someone else that this was necessary.  They made the choice.  My wife, Judith, honestly, would prefer not to have to have security.

MR. RUSSERT:  But let me ask you...

MR. GIULIANI:  She doesn’t want to—she’s doesn’t want to live with, with these threats.

MR. RUSSERT:  But this, this was when, this was when no one knew she was your girlfriend.  This was before September 11th, 2001.  There were—no one knew who she was.

MR. GIULIANI:  They were—well, first of all, that isn’t correct.  Secondly, these were all based upon threat assessments made by the New York City Police Department and all based on their analysis of what was necessary to protect her life, my life, other people’s lives.

MR. RUSSERT:  Before it was known that you were even dating her, there were threats against her?

MR. GIULIANI:  The threats were—the threats were after.  The threats were after.

MR. RUSSERT:  But this protection was...

MR. GIULIANI:  No it wasn’t.  You got it all—no, it wasn’t.

MR. RUSSERT:  Bernard Kerik, police commissioner, said there was no protection given before December 2000, and that is not a true statement.

MR. GIULIANI:  No, but, Tim, our, our relationship became public in May of 2000.  So when he said before 2000 is a whole big portion of 2000 where our relationship was public, there were threats, they had to be responded to.  The police department did every single thing that was done for Judith, or for me, or for anybody else close to me, was based upon threat assessments made by other people who are professionals here, and they’ve made it very clear that that, that that’s the case.  And this is beyond any doubt the way it was done.

MR. RUSSERT:  Using that reasoning, would it be appropriate for a president to provide Secret Service protection for his mistress?

Then there was the Qatar business:

MR. RUSSERT:  And here’s an article that was written by The Wall Street Journal.  “Giuliani could face questions about his business ties if he wins his party’s nomination.  The Qatar contract offers a window into the” political “potential complications.  While Qatar is a U.S. ally, it has drawn scrutiny for its involvement in the U.S. effort to combat terrorism.  In” ‘96, “the FBI went to Qatar to arrest al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, then under indictment in New York for a plot to blow up U.S.-bound jetliners.  But Mr. Mohammad slipped away, apparently tipped off by an al-Qaeda sympathizer in the Qatari government, U.S. officials told the bipartisan” September 11th “commission.  Mr. Mohammad went on to mastermind the September 11th, 2001 attacks.”

Salon.com asked you this question:  “Are you aware that the interior minister appointed in 2001 and reappointed this year by the emir of Qatar is Abdullah al-Thani, the former minister of Islamic affairs and a strict Wahhabi Muslim who has been identified in U.S. press and government reports as a protector of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?”

Are you?

MR. GIULIANI:  Am I aware of it?


MR. GIULIANI:  I—I’m, I’m aware of it now.

MR. RUSSERT:  Why would you do business with people who helped Khalid Sheikh Mohammad?

MR. GIULIANI:  The reality is that Qatar is an ally of the United States. There are a significant number of American troops that are stationed in Qatar. What we did for them and do for them is security for their facilities.  And this is a country that is an ally of ours in the, in the, in the Middle East to the extent that it has a very significant number of American troops stationed there.

MR. RUSSERT:  But the emir of Qatar praised Hezbollah for their victory over Israel in Lebanon.

MR. GIULIANI:  The, the emir of Qatar also supports the United States, supported the United States, is one of our, one of our friends in the Middle East, is taking the grave risk—the country of Qatar is taking the grave risk of having American soldiers there.  When you go to Qatar, when you go to Doha—and I have for security work—you see a significant number of young Americans there.  If you walk the streets of Doha, you can meet them, you can talk to them.  They need security; the government there needs security.  We’re dealing with the same Islamic terrorist threat there as we do all over the world.  It gave my company a great deal of expertise in Islamic terrorism, which is really necessary all over the world.  So the reality is that we need to develop friends.  We need to develop friends in the Middle East.

[...]MR. RUSSERT:  Robert Baer, a CIA officer who had tracked Mohammad Khalid said that you are taking money from the same accounts that protected Khalid Sheikh Mohammad,

MR. GIULIANI:  That’s...

MR. RUSSERT:  ...who then went on to mastermind September 11th.

MR. GIULIANI:  That’s, that’s just totally wrong, and, and it’s completely, it’s completely distorted.  The relationship is not with any of those people. The relationship is with a, a ministry that does training...

MR. RUSSERT:  Of the, of the interior.

MR. GIULIANI:  No, it isn’t.

MR. RUSSERT:  Which, which, which al-Thani is the head of.

MR. GIULIANI:  It is not.  The relationship is not like that.

What about your business dealings with Hugo Chavez:

MR. RUSSERT:  People are calling into question your judgment.  They also cite that your law firm, your law firm did work for Hugo Chavez, the head of Venezuela.  They’ve now, they’ve now quit that, but they did represent Citgo, which is run by Hugo Chavez.

MR. GIULIANI:  That’s, that’s a stretch.

MR. RUSSERT:  It’s not!

MR. GIULIANI:  No, no, no...

MR. RUSSERT:  One more—no, one more and I’m going to give you a chance on this.  One more.  A Las Vegas developer that you worked with who had a close partnership with Hong Kong billionaire who was close to Kim Jong-Il.  These are all accusations being made in a very serious way about your business.

MR. GIULIANI:  Not serious.  Right.

MR. RUSSERT:  So in order to deal with all this, why not say to the American people, “These are all my clients.  This is who I work for...”

MR. GIULIANI:  Yes, I’ve...

MR. RUSSERT:  “...so you can know who I’ve been involved with and who might be trying to influence me if I ever became president.”

MR. GIULIANI:  OK.  First, let me see if I can address both, both of those. The relationship you’re talking about with the, with the Singapore company, it’s a, it’s a partnership that this company had independent of what we were doing for them, and I think the person involved, if, if it’s correct, was a 1 percent owner that had no involvement with us, we never worked for, had nothing to do with.  When you, when you deal with clients and you take on the problems of clients and you try to help them, it may be that somewhere, someplace they did something that was questionable or arguably questionable. These, these are things people aren’t even convicted of.  So you can’t, you can’t vouch for every single thing they did.  They thing that, the things we have done with them are honorable, ethical, useful and, and helpful.

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