Giuliani has long served as an all-purpose attack dog for Trump — to mixed results. The president and some of his top aides have occasionally cringed at the lawyer’s frequent off-script messaging and rambling TV appearances that can spark one or more unexpected news cycles. “Handling Rudy’s f— ups takes more than one man,” a White House staffer told POLITICO in January.
But while even people around Trump say Giuliani’s freelancing can be problematic, they’re also willing to look the other way if it helps the president win another four years in office. After all, Giuliani is a name brand and gets credit from the president’s base for helping Trump survive the Mueller investigation. What’s more, Giuliani is one of the few Trump peers with national political and legal experience, someone who has known him for decades. He can even provide a calming presence — Giuliani said the president sometimes calls him “My Rudy” — to the famously uncalm president.
“The president is most effective when he’s in a great mood and he’s having fun on the campaign trial and Rudy adds to that,” said a Trump campaign adviser who also readily admitted that Giuliani’s faults can cause problems for others around the president. “I think he has the potential to be very effective in certain circumstances. He also has the potential to be unhelpful at times.”