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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Giuliani is Trump’s campaign consigliere
Donald Trump with Rudy Giuliani in 2001 Photo: Jennifer Weisbord David K. Li
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is part of Donald Trump’s kitchen cabinet, giving campaign advice to the GOP front-runner, whom he described as a “close personal friend.”
Giuliani hasn’t endorsed any candidate yet in the 2016 race, but said he’s counseled Trump several times in the past month.
“We’ve been talking. Donald and me, Donald and a few other friends who know politics,” Giuliani told the Washington Post.
“He calls to check things out or I’ll call him to say, ‘Donald, you’re going too far’ or ‘What you said was great’ or maybe ‘Change it a bit.’ It’s nothing formal. It’s kind of a running conversation.”
Traditional candidates have a team of advisers and political operatives, but Trump’s run to the top of the GOP food chain has appeared to be a one-man show.
“There is candor and there is trust,” Giuliani said of his relationship with Trump.
Giuliani said Trump leans on advisers and is more open to suggestions than the real estate maverick lets on.
Giuliani and Trump at a fashion show in 1999. Photo: Getty Imag
“He is calling a lot of people, listening but doing what he thinks he needs to do,” Giuliani said. “He listens respectfully, says he’ll consider whatever it is you send him. Sometimes he uses what we send him, sometime he doesn’t.”
Trump, who finished second in Iowa before scoring decisive victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina, still appears to be persona non grata with mainline Republican leadership.
But two-term mayor Giuliani said heavyweight Republicans are quietly keeping in back-channel touch with Trump.
Giuliani declined to out those Republicans: “I could easily list off some names for you, but that’s for Donald to say.”
Trump confirmed in an email to the Washington Post on Sunday night that he’s leaned on Rudy for advice.
“Rudy is a very knowledgeable friend. I consider his counsel very important,” Trump wrote.