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- People are wondering why President Donald Trump’s outside counsel Rudy Giuliani has been relatively quiet in recent weeks.
- Giuliani told Business Insider he’s been traveling recently.
- Michael Avenatti, the attorney for the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, told Business Insider he had another theory.
After a couple of weeks of relative silence, the question became more frequent.
“Where in the world is Rudy Giuliani? #askingforafriend,” the Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart tweeted this week.
“You know who’s been awfully quiet lately?” tweeted Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist who’s president of the Potomac Strategy Group. “Rudy Giuliani.”
After more than six weeks in the spotlight as President Donald Trump’s outside counsel, Giuliani, who engaged in an aggressive media blitz during that time, nearly went silent.
That two-week stretch began after a June 21 Fox News interview. Two days later, he appeared on Fox Business for an interview before traveling to Louisiana on June 25 to support Josh Guillory, a GOP House candidate whose opponent, Republican Rep. Clay Higgins, had already secured Trump’s support. Giuliani’s support of Guillory had earlier come under close examination after a report that Giuliani’s new girlfriend, Jennifer LeBlanc, was working for the challenger.
On Saturday, Giuliani popped up in Paris, speaking at the annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
While this stretch certainly wasn’t one of complete silence from Giuliani, it was a stark departure from his weeks of freewheeling interviews on both the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election and the federal criminal investigation into Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.
Asked by Business Insider about the stretch of relative silence, Giuliani mentioned his recent travels.
“Was in Paris for FreeIran 2018 and day in London,” he said in a text message. “Work and visiting friends in Normandy on the Fourth. Back now in NYC.”
It was then that Giuliani commented – albeit rather briefly – on both Mueller and Cohen. On Wednesday, Giuliani said he had “no decision” to announce on an interview between Trump and Mueller, despite earlier saying observers could expect a decision by that day.
And Giuliani gave his thoughts to Business Insider on Cohen’s hiring the attorney Lanny Davis, who served as a special counsel to President Bill Clinton as he was under investigation.
What happened during this quiet stretch
The two-week stretch began right as Cohen began to publicly split with Trump, criticizing the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, hinting through his friends that he might cooperate with the government and provide information about the president, and causing a dizzying news cycle after being photographed with Tom Arnold, an outspoken anti-Trump comedian.
- Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Earlier this week, ABC News published an interview with Cohen in which he made an even more apparent split from Trump. When ABC’s George Stephanopoulos pressed Cohen about his past vow to “take a bullet” for Trump, Cohen said, “To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter, and my son and this country have my first loyalty.”
Cohen, who worked for Trump over the past decade, is the focus of a criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York into whether he violated campaign-finance laws or committed bank fraud, wire fraud, illegal lobbying, or other crimes.
ABC News also reported that once Cohen’s new legal team – headed by the former SDNY prosecutor Guy Petrillo – takes over the case, a joint defense agreement that allows lawyers of both parties to share information and documents would end.
All the recent maneuvering led to increased speculation that Cohen was ready to “flip” on Trump. At the center of Cohen’s troubles is a $130,000 payment he facilitated weeks before the 2016 election to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to keep her quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump.
Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, told Business Insider he had his own theory why Giuliani went quiet in recent weeks.
“I think that Trump has realized that Rudy is a disaster waiting to happen with every appearance,” Avenatti said. “He has been an absolute train wreck as Trump’s lawyer. Giuliani may also be concerned that I am going to show his hypocrisy relating to pornography.”
Avenatti was referring to a threat he made in early June. After Giuliani accused Daniels of having no credibility because she was a porn star and would do anything for money, Avenatti called for Giuliani’s firing and asked his Twitter followers to provide him “with any evidence of” Giuliani “voluntarily viewing pornography.”
The White House, which had told reporters to reach out to Trump’s outside counsel for any questions related to Mueller and Cohen, did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.