Drunk Giuliani urged Trump to declare election night victory

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Drunk Giuliani urged Trump to declare election night victory

An “intoxicated” Rudy Giuliani insisted then-President Donald Trump declare victory on election night in 2020 — even though others in the 45th president’s inner circle advised against it, a Trump campaign adviser told the House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot.

Jason Miller, then a Trump campaign strategist, said during his recorded deposition that he and others insisted that Trump wait for more votes to be counted before making any statement about the race.

But Trump ignored the advice and latched onto theories being peddled by the former New York City mayor, including that ballots had been stolen and voting machines were rigged.

“There were suggestions by, I believe it was Mayor Giuliani, to go and declare victory and say that we won it outright,” Miller told the committee.

“I think effectively, Mayor Giuliani was saying, ‘We won it. They’re stealing it from us. Where did all the votes come from? We need to go say that we won,’ and essentially that anyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak,” added Miller, whose deposition was played during Monday’s public hearing.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was one of the few people in former President Donald Trump’s inner circle advising him to declare victory.
Getty Images/Joe Raedle

When asked during his testimony if anyone was inebriated during those conversations, Miller responded, “Mayor Giuliani.”

“The mayor was definitely intoxicated, but I do not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example,” he added.

Giuliani issued a general denial on Monday, rejecting “all falsehoods” he said were being said about him.

Former campaign manager Bill Stepien said he also tried to dissuade Trump from claiming fraud had taken place the night of the election, but said the mood shifted after Fox News announced Trump had lost the state of Arizona — and the president’s advisers worked to counsel him on what his next move should be.

“My belief, my recommendation was to say that votes were still being counted, it’s too early to tell, too early to call the race,” Stepien said in his recorded testimony.

He added that Trump “thought I was wrong. He told me so.”

After election night, Stepien explained, the Trump campaign was divided into two groups: “my team and Rudy’s team.”

Donald Trump
Trump latched on to Giuliani’s advice and has continued to claim the 2020 election was rigged.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“I didn’t mind being characterized as being part of Team Normal, as reporters kind of started to do around that point in time … I’ve been doing this for a long time, 25 years, and I’ve spanned political ideologies from Trump to McCain to Bush to Christie,” he said.

“I can work under a lot of circumstances for a lot of varied candidates and politicians …  and I think along the way I built up, I hope, a pretty good reputation for being honest and professional and I didn’t think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional at that point in time,” Stepien went on.

Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, in his recorded testimony, said he had also told Trump at one point that Giuliani’s advice about election challenges was “not the approach I would take if I was you.”

When asked how the president responded, Kushner recalled that his father-in-law told him: “I have confidence in Rudy.”

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