Trump, Giuliani strategizing leaves White House in the dark

Rudy Giuliani's cable rollout ...

Posted: May 4, 2018 8:42 AM
Updated: May 4, 2018 8:42 AM

Rudy Giuliani's cable rollout as a member of President Donald Trump's legal team, and the torrent of statements he made Wednesday night, caught many in the White House offguard and flat-footed, highlighting the continued chaotic nature of the President's communications strategy.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during Thursday's briefing she only learned that Trump had reimbursed Cohen when Giuliani said it on television.

"The first awareness I had was during the interview last night," Sanders.

Giuliani told CNN Thursday he and Trump are in sync.

"You won't see daylight between me and the President," Giuliani said in an interview. "The strategy is to get everything wrapped up and done with this so that it doesn't take on a life of its own."

The former New York City mayor said he spoke to Trump before and after his explosive announcement on Fox News Wednesday night when he said the President had reimbursed his attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to the porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Giuliani had dinner with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski before his Fox interview, a source told CNN. Lewandowski also flew with Trump on Air Force One to Michigan Saturday night.

But Giuliani conceded that White House officials were caught off guard by his comments.

"They were, there was no way they wouldn't be," he told CNN Thursday. "The President is my client, I don't talk to them."

Case in point: White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley had pre-taped an interview with Fox News Wednesday that was set to air in the 11 p.m. ET hour. But after Giuliani announced Trump had in fact paid back Cohen for the hush money payment, Gidley had to return to the studio for a live interview.

Gidley told Fox host Shannon Bream that he had "no idea of the topics of the show" and referred questions to the President's outside counsel.

"I'm not an attorney," Gidley told Bream. "I just work at the White House."

Taken aback

Several White House officials were also taken aback by Giuliani's dramatic interview Wednesday night. One White House aide said Giuliani's interview "stunned and shocked" communications staff, most of whom, like Sanders, weren't expecting it.

One White House official remarked that Giuliani undermined the administration's entire defense strategy when it came to not just Daniels, but also former FBI Director James Comey and the special counsel, all in the span of a single interview.

A senior White House official told CNN that Giuliani's performance came off as "clumsy" to them.

Two White House officials told CNN managing the situation is now out of their control, with several others pointing to how Giuliani and Trump have their own conversations before Giuliani goes on cable news, further proving that the President is his own communications director.

A source familiar with the conversation confirmed that Trump was not at all upset about Giuliani's performance.

In an apparent sign of his support, Trump reiterated Giuliani's comments Thursday morning in a stunning string of tweets where he said he had paid a monthly retainer to Cohen, which he said meant the payment could not be considered a campaign contribution or finance violation. He also denied having an affair with Daniels.

Huntsville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Florence
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 71°
Fayetteville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Scottsboro
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 114098

Reported Deaths: 1144
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21924298
Davidson19812208
Rutherford625453
Hamilton580347
Knox418638
Williamson336322
Sumner326471
Unassigned29285
Out of TN279314
Wilson215223
Montgomery178113
Bradley177112
Sevier17636
Putnam164613
Trousdale15766
Robertson147519
Hamblen131113
Blount11868
Tipton11379
Washington11142
Maury11077
Madison95714
Bedford89011
Sullivan85911
Macon84713
Hardeman84312
Lake7580
Loudon6863
Bledsoe6741
Fayette6468
Anderson6376
Dickson6301
Gibson6152
Dyer5797
Cheatham5546
Rhea5141
Jefferson5133
McMinn49820
Lawrence4976
Henderson4830
Obion4644
Warren4544
Carter4525
Coffee4482
Lauderdale4457
Hardin4267
Cocke4212
Haywood4145
Greene3986
Roane3982
Cumberland3976
Smith3933
Hawkins3915
Monroe3809
Giles36012
McNairy3355
Weakley3293
DeKalb3261
Franklin2964
Marshall2713
Lincoln2591
Carroll2513
Crockett2464
Hickman2400
Claiborne2350
White2323
Henry2310
Campbell2241
Wayne2222
Johnson2140
Marion2104
Chester2012
Grainger1810
Polk1813
Decatur1742
Overton1411
Unicoi1410
Union1330
Cannon1310
Humphreys1133
Benton1111
Jackson1091
Scott1050
Grundy1042
Meigs990
Sequatchie960
Morgan941
Perry770
Fentress760
Hancock761
Stewart720
Clay660
Lewis621
Houston540
Moore530
Van Buren330
Pickett271

Community Events