What do you do if you represent someone who lies as easily as breathing? The obvious answer is that you lie, too. Otherwise you won’t be representing that person very long. This is what we are witnessing with Donald Trump’s campaign spokespersons.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined CNN’s Victor Blackwell and Angela Rye on Sunday morning, where he tried to defend Trump against a new attack ad produced by the Clinton campaign. That ad brings up legitimate questions about the GOP candidate’s ties to Russia and strongman Vladimir Putin.
After playing a clip of the ad, Blackwell asks Rye why the ad hints at possible connections between Trump and Putin, but doesn’t come out and accuse him directly. Rye responds that at this point there are questions we don’t yet have answers to about what interest Russia has in this election. She mentions the DNC email hack that has been blamed on Russia, and the fact that Putin and Trump are “constantly complimenting each other.”
Then Blackwell turns to Giuliani and asks him if Trump should offer more clarity on what connections he has with Russia. Of course the first thing out of Giuliani’s mouth is an attack on Hillary Clinton, saying she is “the last person” who should be talking about Russia. He says that since she was secretary of state, Russia “has been pushing us all over the globe.” Then he says that Russia had not been involved in the Middle East for 40 years, until Hillary took over the State Department.
Giuliani told the exact opposite of the truth. According to Russia expert Anna Borshchevskaya, 40 years is about the exact amount of time Russia has been involved in the Middle East, specifically in Syria. The Syrian regimes headed by Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar have enjoyed support from both the Soviet Union, and, following its fall, the Russian Federation. Russia has maintained a naval base at Tartus, Syria since 1971.
Neither Blackwell nor Rye responds to that lie. But when Giuliani follows up his Syria remark with a classic “weasel word” style statement, Rye can’t sit silent. Giuliani says,
Donald Trump has no substantial connections to Russia that I know of.
As he says that, Rye chuckles and says “no substantial,” catching the former mayor’s use of the subtle qualification.
Giuliani repeats that Trump has “no substantial connections to Russia,” and Rye laughs at him again.
Blackwell observes that if Trump would release his tax returns that would clear up the issue. Giuliani claims that you wouldn’t be able to tell about any ties to Russia from the returns. The look on Rye’s face is priceless. She looks like it is taking every ounce of willpower to keep from laughing out loud.
Then, just in case it should come out that Trump does have some sort of connections with Russia, Giuliani resorts to a bit of preemptive ass covering, saying that anti-Putin Russians may be hiding their money from him in the United States. “The fact that you’ve got Russian money doesn’t necessarily mean you’re aligned with Putin,” he says. Rye breaks into a huge smile.
Giuliani calls the Clinton ad “ridiculous” and says it shows “a complete lack of knowledge of how Russia operates.” Rye starts laughing again. At this point Blackwell looks like he is about to join her.
Rye gets the last word, and what she says is perfect.
This is the perfect example of why this is a great ad. If it takes you this long to explain it, you’ve got a challenge on your hands.
Poor Rudy. He was completely shut down before he even had a chance to mention 9/11.
Watch Angela Rye attempting to contain her laughter while listening to Giuliani’s lies, via CNN:
Featured image via screencap.