Everyone who texts with Rudy Giuliani knows the hands of fate control the fingertips. Digital communication with President Trump’s 75-year-old personal attorney is a delicate exercise in optimism and patience. Or, as one longtime Giuliani associate phrased it, “This is a little bit like a baby with a hammer, or a monkey with a typewriter.” This fall, as Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the impeachment inquiry, his clumsy phone comportment has often become worldwide news, adding extra absurd wrinkles to the already absurd saga of a quid pro quo in Ukraine and raising questions about how a chronic butt-dialer who wears his AirPods upside down could be a White House cybersecurity adviser.
Since joining President Trump’s legal team, Rudolph W. Giuliani has repeatedly made attention-grabbing TV appearances in which he has antagonized Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation. The strategy is reminiscent of one that Mr. Giuliani has used before — 30 years ago, as a prosecutor in New York City taking on the Mafia.
On today’s episode:
• Michael Winerip, who covered Mr. Giuliani’s rise as a Manhattan prosecutor in the 1980s for The New York Times.
• Mr. Giuliani’s revelation that President Trump reimbursed his personal lawyer for a $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress known as Stormy Daniels, may expose the president to new legal and political troubles.
• In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Giuliani suggested it was possible that other women had received hush money on behalf of Mr. Trump and that the president might invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying in the Russia investigation.
• Mr. Giuliani’s recent criticism of law enforcement has come as a surprise to those who have known him as one of its fiercest advocates.