How Rudy Giuliani’s pursuit of money and power may cost Trump dearly

So what is going on with him? Interviews with those close to the former mayor, and those who have crossed paths with him in his work for Trump, say Giuliani’s transformation has a simple source: over the past 18 months, he has violated that unwritten rule of American public life that you can pursue money or political power, but not both at once.

There’s nothing particularly exceptional about riding the revolving door from having power to making money and back again, and for years Giuliani has pursued both with relish. After leaving the mayoralty, Giuliani cashed in with book deals; high-priced speaking engagements; and a lucrative, if murky, consulting business that counted Qatar, Purdue Pharma and a range of controversial foreign personalities as top clients. After a brief and failed attempt to get back into power as a candidate for President in 2008, he returned to the money game. By 2018, he was making between $5 million and $10 million a year.

What’s different now is that Giuliani is doing both at the same time. In the 18 months since Trump hired him as his personal lawyer in April 2018, Giuliani has become a kind of shadow Secretary of State even as he has maintained his foreign consulting business. He has often been treated as a de facto envoy of the U.S. government while abroad, at the same time receiving lucrative consulting and speaking fees from foreign officials and businessmen…

Giuliani says there’s nothing wrong with continuing his consulting for foreign clients while at the same time representing the President. “Of course I don’t mix the two things,” he told TIME in a phone interview. He said people pay him as a lawyer and security expert, and because he has “done some remarkable things that nobody else has ever done.” “Everything I’m doing now is similar to what I did in the past,” Giuliani says.

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