UPDATED: 11:00 a.m. ET, Sept. 11, 2023
Revisionist history is quite a thing to behold.
It took exactly the deadliest foreign terror attack on American soil to convince the masses that Rudy Giuliani was a “hero” simply for happening to be the mayor of New York City when the Twin Towers fell.
The Sept. 11 terror attacks effectively erased from the mainstream media’s collective consciousness Giuliani’s previous – yet, still remaining — existence as a lying, racist, xenophobic sexist who seemingly especially had it out for his Black constituents. Those truths have been exacerbated by his recent RICO indictment in Georgia and his steady journey of losses stemming from pretending that Donald Trump won the 2020 election.
Here’s a refresher course for anyone who might not remember how exactly Rudy Giuliani went from a “hero” to a zero amid his stunning fall from grace since the 9/11 terror attacks.
On Sept. 10, 2001, Giuliani was a lame-duck mayor whose term limits had expired and already had one foot out of City Hall’s doors. The very next day, though, following the terror attacks, he was swiftly transformed into “America’s Mayor” who could do no wrong, to let his supporters tell it.
But over the course of the following 22 years, the man who once incited a race riot in New York City revealed himself to the rest of the country — and the world — to be the same person whom Black people warned America about more than three decades ago.
That was especially true when he tried to pull a tyrant move and extend his mayorship — despite citywide elections scheduled two months later — and threatened legal action to allow him to run for re-election even though there was a limit of two terms, the end of which he was nearing at the time of the terror attacks.
When you factor in how “America’s Mayor” tried to undermine America’s democratic process by pushing the widely debunked “big lie” that Trump was the victim of election fraud — not to mention how Giuliani pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden for baseless conspiracy theories meant to elevate Trump’s failed re-election efforts — the one-time “hero” of the Sept. 11 terror attacks had finally been definitively recognized as a complete zero.
The notion that things couldn’t get much worse for Giuliani’s was upended last month when he was indicted in over sprawling “criminal enterprise” charges because, as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis wrote, he and 18 other co-defendants “refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.”
Keep reading to find but a handful of definitive examples of how Giuliani ensured his legacy went from hero to zero over the course of more than two decades, thanks in no small part to Trump and the common bond of racism and dishonesty the two of them continue to share.
Embellished his role following the terror attacks
As a failed presidential candidate in 2007, Giuliani equated himself to a Sept. 11 first responder, disingenuously saying “I’m one of them,” a comment that sparked anger among those who were actually there. At the time, the New York Times reminded its readers that Giuliani had also been criticized for “the city’s preparedness before the attacks and whether the city did enough to ensure the safety of the workers at the site after the attacks.”
The president of the city’s firefighter’s union at the time said he was offended at Giuliani embellishing his role at Ground Zero.
“I found his comment to be disgracefully insulting,” John J. McDonnell, a battalion chief and president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association in New York, told the Times. “I personally saw him on the 11th, and I can’t tell the next time I saw him” at Ground Zero.
Giuliani’s troubling allegiance with Trump goes way back to when they shared a common enemy: Black New Yorkers. But that friendship seemingly based on racism and riches sunk to new depths when Trump was first running for president and Giuliani not only said that then-President Barack Obama didn’t love America, but also defended himself against ensuing criticism, claiming that he couldn’t be racist because Obama’s mother was white.
Giuliani used racist dog whistles to describe Obama at the time.
“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said at a 2015 fundraiser for Trump. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.”
Giuliani later doubled down on that flawed and very racist commentary.
“Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”
Still, despite this and myriad other flagrant examples of his racism against the first Black president of the United States, Giuliani’s reputation of being “America’s Mayor” remained firmly intact.
One hallmark of Giuliani’s career in public service has been his commitment to scapegoating Black people for any and everything. That was especially true before Sept. 11 — just ask Black New Yorkers about Giuliani’s fondness for racial profiling and having the NYPD stop and frisk them based on appearance — and it remained very true afterward. However, that last part was all but ignored by an adoring press corps who maintained his elevation to hero status despite damning proof to the contrary.
Case in point: Responding to the rash of police killing unarmed Black men, Giuliani in 2016 said Black fathers need to teach their kids to respect law enforcement.
“If I were a black father, and I was concerned with the safety of my child, really concerned about it and not in a politically activist sense, I would say, ‘Be very respectful of the police,’” Giuliani said during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Most of them are good. Some can be very bad. And just be very careful.”
During the same interview, he said the real problem was not the police, insinuating that the blame belongs solely to the victims of police violence.
“I’d also say, be very careful of those kids in the neighborhood and don’t get involved with them because, son, there’s a 99 percent chance they’re going to kill you, not the police,” Giuliani dog-whisteled. “And we’ve got to hear that from the Black community. And what we’ve got to hear from the Black community is how and what they are doing among themselves about the crime problem in the Black community.”
Then, the very next day on Fox News, Giuliani went there and suggested by pushing a racist trope that Black people should be grateful for all his services toward them.
“I believe I saved a lot more Black lives than Black Lives Matter. I don’t see what Black Lives Matter is doing for blacks other than isolating them,” Giuliani said. “All it cares about is the police shooting of Blacks. It doesn’t care about the 90 percent of Blacks that have been killed by other Blacks. That’s just a simple fact. That is a simple fact.”
Giuliani, ever the conspiracy theorist, traveled to Ukraine to convince them to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, for their alleged roles (they didn’t play any) in “colluding” with a foreign government in an effort to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election (she didn’t).
That continued meddling by Giuliani prompted Congress in 2019 to open up an investigation into the meetings with Ukrainians that included an apparent quid pro quo that would give Ukraine billions in aid only if they followed through with investigating the Bidens under false pretenses as a way to discredit Trump’s opponent in the 2020 election.
In April, federal investigators executed search warrants at Giuliani’s New York City home and office in connection to a probe into Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine. The search reportedly took place around 6 a.m. where federal agents seized his electronic devices.
The feds were also looking into whether Giuliani attempted to undermine the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch.
Prosecutors in 2019 charged Giuliani’s Ukrainian associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and a trial is scheduled to begin next month.
The ‘Big Lie’ and Jan. 6
Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit in January against Giuliani seeking a whopping $1.3 billion in damages over Trump’s personal lawyer’s former tweets, speeches, news segment appearances and podcast episodes riddled with misinformation, claiming the company conspired to flip votes in favor of Biden over Trump. It also states Giuliani falsely claimed the election was rigged by a Venezuelan company.
It was all part of “the big lie” that election fraud prevented Trump from winning.
The lawsuit stated that Giuliani engaged in “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion” made up of “demonstrably false” allegations, in an effort to boost his financial gains and notoriety.
Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit also alleged that Giuliani is also a complicit member of public officials who helped instigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. They claim the fallout over the claims required one of their top executives to go into hiding to escape threats.
The entire episode led to Giuliani in July having a pair of his law licenses suspended — one in New York and the other in Washington, D.C. — because of the role he played in promulgating “the big lie.”
In the tradition of basically all of the above and in an effort to illegally keep an accused white nationalist as president of the United States, he falsely accused two Black election workers of mishandling ballots that he lied would have helped Trump win the state’s election in 2020 and thus help him retain the presidency.
But not even two weeks ago, a federal judge ruled that Giuliani is liable for defaming the election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, “Shaye” Moss. The two sued Giluliani for his harassment and a judge ordered him to pay the two women “punitive” damages. A trial to determine the amount of damages is yet to be determined but damages could range anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars.
“Just as taking shortcuts to win an election carries risks — even potential criminal liability — bypassing the discovery process carries serious sanctions,” Judge Howell wrote.
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