Why hasn’t Trump thrown Rudy Giuliani under the bus?

The danger of cutting off former insiders is that they might know a lot about you—and that information can be damaging if they decide to flip. So far, Cohen has had a rougher go of it than Trump, but the continuing legal battle in New York over the president’s tax returns ultimately springs from Cohen. Maybe Trump is worried that if he were to cut Giuliani off, the former New York mayor might start spilling damaging beans.

Giuliani certainly has no qualms about giving wildly undisciplined interviews to the press, and given how troublesome some of his media appearances ostensibly on Trump’s behalf have been, what would happen if he were actually trying to hurt the president? The president already tentatively tried to separate himself from some of the Giuliani circus, disavowing any knowledge of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the mysterious friends/clients/employers of Giuliani who were arrested and charged with various federal crimes in early October. Since he did so, reporters have found a long trail of connections between them and Trump. Parnas, meanwhile, fired his lawyer John Dowd—a former Trump attorney—and made known earlier this week that he’d be willing to cooperate with Congress’s inquiry…

But separating himself from Giuliani would create a different problem for Trump: To cut him off, he’d have to acknowledge that Giuliani was doing something improper, and the president has refused to admit that anything in the Ukraine scandal was inappropriate. Trump was able to freeze out Cohen because he wanted to claim ignorance of hush-money deals to two women who alleged affairs. By contrast, he’s defended all of his actions toward Ukraine. He has pleaded for the public to read the partial transcript of his July 25 call and insisted it was “perfect.”

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