A Conversation With Rudy Giuliani Over Bloody Marys at the Mark Hotel

Unscripted and Unedited. Fascinating interview with Rudy Guiliani. 

New York  – Olivia Nuzzi 12.24.2019

As the black SUV came to a stop on 33rd Street in Manhattan, its lights flashing, a pale hand stretched through the open window of the passenger door and gave a little wave. It was attached to Rudy Giuliani, who smiled from behind his tortoiseshell sunglasses. He apologized for being late. “Couldn’t go on sidewalks like I used to,” he said, mourning a perk of his past life as mayor.

It was early in the afternoon on Sunday, December 8, and Giuliani had just returned from Ukraine, where he said he was looking for information to undermine the case to impeach his client, President Donald Trump.

“We snuck out of Kiev to escape having to answer a lot of questions,” he said, though it wasn’t clear if he meant from the press or government officials. “They all thought we were going to leave on Friday morning, and I organized a private plane to go to Vienna on Thursday night.”

The back of the car was cluttered with luggage. His bodyguard, a retired NYPD officer who loves Donald Trump almost as much as he loves his boss of ten years, got out to move the bags to the trunk while Giuliani climbed into the backseat.

Rudy Guiliani II 12.24.2019

When Giuliani got to his hotel in Vienna, he said it was 2:30 in the morning, and the first thing he did was search for opera tickets. “Lo and behold, that Friday night they were performing Tosca, with the conductor Marco Armiliato.” He sang me an aria from Rigoletto, one of the first pieces he fell in love with when he was introduced to opera in high school, as he theatrically conducted with his hands.

Over a sweater, he wore a navy-blue suit, the fly of the pants unzipped. He accessorized with an American-flag lapel pin, American-flag woven wallet, a diamond-encrusted pinky ring, and a diamond-encrusted Yankees World Series ring (about which an innocent question resulted in a 15-minute rant about “fucking Wayne Barrett,” a journalist who manages to enrage Giuliani even in death).

In addition to being the president’s free personal attorney, Giuliani, who is 75, is an informal White House cybersecurity adviser and a high-priced cyber-security contractor. In one hand, he clutched three phones of varying sizes. Two of the devices were unlocked, their screens revealing open tabs and a barrage of banner notifications as they knocked into each other and reacted to Giuliani’s grip. He accidentally activated Siri, who said she didn’t understand his command. “She never understands me,” he said. He sighed and poked at the device, attempting to quiet her.

Giuliani is quick to announce that he knows “every block of this city,” but he lives on the Upper East Side and doesn’t linger much across or below the park. When I asked him to bring me somewhere he likes to hang out, he quickly directed his bodyguard to the Mark, a five-star hotel on East 77th Street. Always a creature of habit, Giuliani is extra-aware of where he’s welcome these days. He says that “because of what’s happened” his circle is tightening, that he doesn’t trust anyone anymore.

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