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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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
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