President Donald Trump on Tuesday dialed up an old pal — disgraced former Fox host Bill O’Reilly — and fired off some scrambled thoughts to O’Reilly’s sympathetic ear. Most notably, Trump distanced himself from his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, claiming he had no idea what the former New York City mayor was up to in Ukraine.
The president insisted to O’Reilly that Giuliani wasn’t acting on his behalf when he pushed for a Ukranian investigation into the family of former Vice President Joe Biden — despite the fact that Trump himself did exactly that in the infamous July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president.
“Rudy Giuliani, he’s your personal lawyer,” O’Reilly said. “Giuliani’s your personal lawyer. So you didn’t direct him to go to Ukraine to do anything or put any heat on them?”
Served that softball, the president swiftly distanced himself from Giuliani’s actions.
“No, I didn’t direct him,” Trump replied. “But he’s a warrior. Rudy’s a warrior. Rudy went. He possibly saw something.”
Asked what his lawyer was doing in Ukraine, the president said, “You have to ask Rudy,” and noted that Giuliani has lots of other clients. Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into Giuliani’s firm’s actions in Ukraine, and a pair of his associates have already been indicted on charged of campaign finance violation. One of those men claims he’s got a trove of evidence linking Trump to Giuliani’s efforts to get the Biden investigations going in Ukraine.
The unwieldy conversation with O’Reilly hit a number of other topics besides Giuliani. Apparently feeling festive, Trump repeated his strange, false insistence that some liberals don’t want to use the word “Thanksgiving” anymore when he was asked what Thursday’s holiday meant to him.
“It’s, you know, this is a great country and I hear all sorts of things that people want to get away, change the name for Thanksgiving,” Trump said. “It’s like you, you know, you hear things that are just incredible.”
And, as Trump does in seemingly every interview, he threw out some numbers about how much everyone loves him… without any evidence that those numbers are actually real. Somehow, it started when O’Reilly asked Trump if he would still mention Biden if he could re-do the call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. By way of answering, Trump insisted that the Bidens are corrupt, before meandering to a favorite topic: his high approval ratings and his low opinion of the media.
“Every Republican is shaking their head. They can’t believe it,” Trump said about the media’s coverage of the Biden family. “I have the highest rating ever in the history of the Republican Party.”
Cover: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during a phone conversation to announce the United States-México trade agreement in the Oval Office of the White House August 27, 2018, Washington, DC. Photo by Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press(Sipa via AP Images)