Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was incensed by a Fox Business interviewer who criticised his promotion of scandal involving a laptop supposedly belonging to Hunter Biden – comparing him to an ex-spy who compiled a dossier of dubious claims against Donald Trump.
Mr Giuliani, who has been the Trump administration’s lead player in the Hunter Biden laptop story, last night took exception to host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery’s comparison between his behaviour and that of the dossier’s author, Christopher Steele, who has become a bete noire among conservatives convinced that his dossier was part of a “deep state” campaign against Mr Trump.
Ms Montgomery’s criticism focused on the fact that the contents of the laptop at the centre of the story have not been made fully public, nor fact-checked in full by mainstream reputable news organisations.
“There may be something here that is fishy, that is causing Americans – giving them pause, and other stuff that might have been completely adulterated over the 18 months, and some could say that you are acting like Christopher Steele, that you are abstracting information, and because –”
Mr Giuliani folded his arms and interrupted her, his eyes flashing.
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“You’ve gotta be kidding me. I was acting like Christopher Steele? You’d better apologise for that.
“You know I’ve been a United States attorney, associate attorney general, mayor of New York City and a member of the bar for 50 years. I’ve never been accused of anything, and you’re accusing me of being Christopher Steele? It’s outrageous that you would do that based on nothing!”
Ms Montgomery did not back down. “I’m accusing you of acting in a capacity similar to Christopher Steele, and that you were going back and forth between Ukraine and the United States –”
Continuing to talk over her, Mr Giuliani insisted that what he claims are the contents of the laptop in question are genuine, and that if Ms Montgomery would “come to my office” he would show them to her and expect an apology. He then accused her of “asserting that I’m a criminal”.
Mr Giuliani’s central role in the Biden laptop affair has drawn as much attention to his own behaviour as it has to the alleged contents of what Mr Trump has called “the laptop from hell”. The stated timeline of how the laptop found its way to Mr Giuliani is confused, and his releasing it so close to the election has raised eyebrows.
And as Ms Montgomery alluded to in her questions, the president’s lawyer has also declined to offer any evidence that the emails were not tampered with by opponents of Joe Biden before they came to light.
Mr Giuliani’s journeys to Ukraine, meanwhile, have long attracted criticism, as his efforts to dig up dirt on the Bidens have failed to yield any actionable evidence while also involving him in suspicious relationships – including with Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian government official whom the US Treasury has declared an “active Russian agent” who was attempting to influence the presidential election.
When this was pointed out to him, Mr Giuliani said the chances Mr Derkach was a Russian influencer were “no better than 50/50” and that personal sanctions against him were imposed by the intelligence services as an anti-Trump “ploy”.
The Hunter Biden story has been pushed aggressively by Mr Giuliani, Mr Trump and others on the Republican side, but has failed to gather much traction as the campaign enters its closing days.
While some material from the laptop has emerged since the story broke – including pictures of the younger Biden in compromising positions – there is no evidence that it shows any impropriety or corrupt behaviour on the part of the Democratic nominee.