Senior campaign aides scurried to urge organizers to kill the event, infamously staged at the wrong “Four Seasons” — a landscaping business adjacent to an adult bookstore and a crematorium. But Giuliani plowed ahead anyway, delivering a conspiracy-filled rant that undercut the legal strategy the president’s advisers had meticulously mapped out in the run-up to the election.

Campaign officials described the episode as disastrous, saying it scared off many of the lawyers they spent months recruiting, who now no longer wanted to be involved. With the campaign already facing exceedingly long odds in its recount efforts, there are widespread concerns within Trumpworld and GOP circles that Giuliani’s antics are thwarting the president’s legal machinery from within.

“I can’t imagine that a rational person” in the general public “wouldn’t be adversely affected by the way he conducts himself,” said Barry Richard, who represented George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida recount.