'Intoxicated' Rudy Giuliani wanted Trump to declare victory on election night, campaign staff says
A drunken Rudy Giuliani advised then-President Donald Trump to declare victory on election night 2020 despite the fact that Fox News had called Arizona for Joe Biden and votes had yet to be fully counted in other battleground states, former advisers to the president told the Jan. 6 select committee.
During Monday's public hearing, the committee played edited excerpts of testimony given by Giuliani, former Trump campaign chairman Bill Stepien, former Trump senior adviser Jason Miller, Ivanka Trump and others that detailed the former New York mayor's actions on election night.
Asked what he recalled about Giuliani's actions at the White House on election night, Stepien said, "Um, he was, um, they were, I had heard that he was upstairs, you know, in that aforementioned reception area, and, um, he was looking to talk to the president and it was suggested instead that he come talk to several of us down off the map room."
During his testimony before the committee, Miller was asked if there was "anyone in that conversation who, in your observation, had had too much to drink?"
"Ah, Mayor Giuliani," Miller replied.
"Tell me about that," the committee counsel asked. "What was your observation about his potential intoxication during that discussion about what the president should say when he addressed the nation on election night?"
"The mayor was definitely intoxicated, but I do not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example," Miller said.
Giuliani, who, in the days and weeks following the election pressed Trump's discredited case that voter fraud had cost him the election, then suggested that Trump simply tell the nation that he had won.
"There were suggestions by I believe it was Mayor Giuliani to go and declare victory and say that we won it outright," Miller said, adding, "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 anyone who didn't agree with that position was being weak."
Stepien was uncomfortable with that idea, he testified.
"It was far too early to be making any calls like that," Stepien testified. "Ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days and it was far too early" to be making any declaration of victory.
Asked what she thought the president should tell the country following the call by Fox News that Biden had won Arizona, Ivanka Trump responded, "I don't know that I had a firm view on what he should say. In that circumstance, the results were still being counted. It was becoming clear that the race would not be called on election night."
On Friday, ethical misconduct charges were filed against Giuliani in Washington, D.C., over his baseless assertions in federal court challenging the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. Giuliani was unsuccessful in his various court challenges to overturn election results.