May 9, 2018
By Joe Kloc
US president Donald Trump’s newly hired personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, a former New York City mayor who was once filmed at a charity event dressed as a woman and calling Trump a “dirty boy” for touching his fake breasts and who was reportedly not hired to work in the White House when Trump initially took office because the president-elect thought he was falling asleep in meetings and drinking too much, told reporters that he was “aware” and “intelligent” because he “handled” cases involving “cyber matters” and “went through 9/11,” and made a series of television appearances in which he said that Trump’s son-in-law was “disposable,” that the former director of the FBI was a “Judas” who may be a liar, that Trump had “funneled” hush money through a law firm to an adult film star, and that Trump was aware the payment was made, a claim he later said was a “rumor” that he had “maybe” said as fact but “couldn’t prove.” Giuliani gave another television interview announcing that Trump was “committed” to bringing about regime change in Iran, the State Department issued a statement clarifying that Giuliani was not a foreign policy spokesperson for the US government, Giuliani denied reports that Trump was considering barring him from appearing on television, and then went on television and claimed that Trump, who said that all “negative” news was “fake,” was encouraging him to do more interviews as his attorney. Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, a former personal injury attorney and taxicab-medallion investor, reportedly used a shell company named Essential Consultants to receive at least $4.4 million from various firms, including $150,000 from Korea Aerospace Industries, which is competing for a US Air Force contract worth billions of dollars; $1.2 million from Novartis, a Swiss drug company that was investigated last year by Greece for bribing politicians; $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment company that owns the domains alt-right.co and alternate-rt.com and whose largest client is a Russian oligarch who attended Trump’s inauguration and met with Cohen at the event; and $200,000 from AT&T, which is seeking approval from the Justice Department to merge with Time Warner. AT&T issued a statement confirming that it had paid Cohen for “insights” into the Trump Administration, and a White House employee told a reporter that the staff didn’t know what was going on and texted the reporter the popcorn emoji.