RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I got a cryptic email this morning from a friend who said that a friend of his, who I know (all these people must remain nameless) has been charged with some serious vetting of people. The administration, the Trump administration is vetting people as they would if they were considering somebody for cabinet secretary or similar position in the bureaucracy.
My friend did not know who it was being vetted, and I had no idea, and I didn’t pursue it ’cause I knew that if they didn’t know they weren’t gonna… I didn’t want to hear a guess. So a couple hours later, I’m in the midst of intense show prep here, and I run across a story published this morning by the New York Post. Headline: “Trump May Be Considering Replacing Jeff Sessions with Giuliani — President Trump is considering naming Rudy Giuliani to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a report on Monday.
“The president is so unhappy with Sessions, who he criticized last week for recusing himself from the Russia [thing], that he is thinking of bringing back the former mayor to run the Justice Department…” The president kind of hit Sessions again in tweets either last night or this morning (When was it?) in which it referred to his “beleaguered” attorney general. I think it was last night. Well, it was either last night or today. I’ve got both of them here. I just can’t speed-read them real quickly to find them. But it was the second time that Trump has taken a swipe at Sessions. I thought the first time that it was, for lack of a better term, an invitation to resign.
Didn’t you? I mean, it was rather obvious that… I think Trump is a mixed bag. He has a lot of appreciation for Sessions. Sessions was the first mainstream Republican to come out and endorse Trump — and eagerly so, fearlessly so — and it was primarily over the issue of immigration, which is a major, major important issue to Senator Sessions, as well as related issues to illegal immigration, such as American manufacturing and jobs. He was fearless in his support and endorsement of Trump, and traveled around with him. Trump never forgets those things. He’s very appreciative.
But at the same time, whatever you’ve read and whatever you’ve heard about the president being really, really mad that Sessions recused himself is true times two. He was genuinely livid over it. I think in most of the reporting people have failed to understand why. Now, Trump has said publicly, “If he’d’a told me he was gonna recuse himself, then I wouldn’t have appointed him. This is kind of unfair to the president.” I think what it boils down to is Sessions recusing himself angered Trump because I think Trump thought Sessions was a bull-in-the-china-shop fighter like Trump is.
The reason he thought that is because it really took a lot of gonads for Sessions to do what he did early on in the Trump campaign. You know, we’re coming off Trump’s opening statement where he said what he said about Mexican illegal immigrants, what he said about Senator McCain, all these things. The immediate reaction from mainstream Republicans was laughter and disbelief and, “This is a joke. The guy’s in self-promotion. He’s never gonna run. He’s not really doing this,” and then they started criticizing, ripping him to shreds.
The next announcement was more of the same, and it took for many people a couple of months for it to really settle in that Trump was serious. Not here, of course. We knew from day one. But Sessions got on board in the midst of all of that when the rest of the Republican Party was trying to figure out what the heck was going on, distancing themselves from Trump so that they would not be embarrassed by association with the stench, you know, whatever.
But Sessions was right there, and he was traveling with Trump, and he was speaking with Trump, and he was obviously publicly repeating his endorsement over and over again. There’s no question Trump has (and had) deep appreciation for that. But now the game begins. Trump gets elected; it’s time to reward Sessions. I think it was always gonna be the case that Sessions was gonna be AG. That recusal, I think, just stunned Trump. It shocked him. It did me.
Forgive me for projecting myself onto Trump here, but it certainly blew my mind, particularly how it happened. Under questioning from Al Franken, a certified joke? It then led to the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller and so forth. There’s a lot of blame to go around in this, and I frankly think that Sessions is the kind of man Trump needs in his administration. Sessions is a by-the-book attorney general, a by-the-book legal mind. That’s, I think, one of the bones of contention here because it is arguable that he didn’t need to recuse himself.
You could make a great case that he didn’t need to. But it’s also kind of, you know, a little bit discomforting, unseemly for Trump to go after such a loyal supporter this way. Especially when Sessions made it obvious he’s not gonna resign. He made it clear that he’s not gonna resign. He made it clear. After Trump gave him the invitation to quit, Sessions doubled down on how much he loves the job, how much he’s going to continue to love the job, how he’s gonna keep performing the job while appropriate. So Trump is gonna have to, I think, dismiss him. My guess.
Could be that after this latest swipe, referring to the attorney general as “beleaguered,” that Sessions might just decide to resign on his own. Regardless, it looks like Rudy Giuliani is being vetted. Now, you have to think that Giuliani’s already been vetted way, way back many moons ago, back during the transition. Maybe Giuliani was up for something at some point. What does he…? (interruption) What is Rudy doing now? Rudy’s job now… It’s an unofficial job, but I played golf with Rudy back… In fact, did you pay any attention to the British Open this weekend?
Branden Grace on Saturday shot a 62, a record, an all-time record for the Open championship. Nobody has ever shot a 62. I got to play with that guy at the Ernie Els autism charitable tournament back in March up at Old Palm. He was the pro in our group. It was Rudy, Marvin Shanken of Cigar Aficionado-Wine Spectator, and me. That’s our team every year, and we had Branden Grace in. He was the greatest guy. He gave me one of the best tip… You golfers would understand it. The first three holes, I was duck-hooking everything — the first four holes — and he didn’t say anything.
He was really good, and after seeing it the fourth time, he said, “Why are you standing up?” I said, “What do you mean?” “You’re standing up as you swing. Stay down; hit through the ball. You’re standing up! That’s why you’re duck -hooking it.” I said, “Really? I’m not even aware. I’m an amateur. How do I know this stuff?” So I made it a point to keep my weight on my back foot as long as I could and bam! That’s when I took over the match and we ended up winning the tournament because on the back 9, it was like six pars and two birdies for me.
We won the thing by one point over Nicklaus’ team. Anyway, it’s Branden Grace, he’s from South Africa, and he’s one of the nicest guys. Anyway, I talked to Rudy back in March, and what he was doing then, what he said… Notice how I got that story in, folks. (interruption) Our team! Our team! Our team! (interruption) No, I did not beat Jack Nicklaus. The way I said it is, “Brendan Grace’s team beat Nicklaus’ team.” (interruption) Come on. Do not twist my words. You’re acting like I’m Trump and you’re the media. I did not say that I beat Nicklaus.
I said we beat Nicklaus’ team by one stroke, and Nicklaus… You know, Nicklaus is still as competitive as he always was. He was a little icy afterwards, ’til I told him I agreed with him that they need to dial the distance of the ball back. No, he was not icy. I’m just kidding. Anyway, it was tremendous fun. I didn’t watch it on Saturday. I was out slopping the ball around myself. I came home and I saw that I was just bursting with pride. He’s such a great guy, was so nice. He was.
You know, all those pros that play in these charitable outings are really great. It’s the only sport where amateurs can play with pros on their field. You can’t play football with the NFL; you can’t go out play Major League Baseball with those guys. But you can in golf, and it’s a thrill, it’s a treat. Anyway — you keep distracting me in there — Rudy told me his job was worldwide cyber security expert. He was, at the time, serving Trump in the area of worldwide cyber security, meaning he was up to speed — or getting up to speed and keeping everybody else up to speed — on the latest cyber security efforts being employed by nations all over the world.
He was the emissary from the United States to other countries in that regard. Anyway, the long and short of this is that I get this little tip today that somebody is being vetted by somebody that’s been vetting for people for Trump for a long time but no name was involved. Then I see this New York Post story: “Trump May Be Considering Replacing Sessions with Giuliani,” and then I remember the latest Trump tweet where he took another swipe at Sessions referring to him as “beleaguered.” So it looks like… (interruption) Does that work for you? (interruption)
It does not work? (interruption) It does not work with you, huh? Doesn’t work? (interruption) All right. Well, anyway, I don’t know. I mean, I wouldn’t have put Rudy’s name to it had I not seen the New York Post story.
RUSH: The Trump tweet about Sessions is this: “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys [sic] crimes & Russia relations?” Now, that’s… (chuckles) I mean, how obvious does it have to be here? Trump is not happy, and I’m telling you… I mean, I don’t know. I’m just using intelligence guided by experience and my knowledge of Trump.
He thought he had a brawler. He thought he had a fighter. Those are the kinds of people he wants. This is not a cut at Sessions, by the way, folks. I know Senator Sessions, too, and I have the utmost respect for him in any way you can imagine. I hate to see him being treated this way. He’s a really fine man, and he is a fighter in his own way. He carried the water for anti-immigration policy in the Senate when no Republican or very few Republicans did. Cruz and some others joined him. But he was guy that…
You know, pioneers take the arrows; he was the leading spear taker. He was the guy taking all the fire. In his own way, he’s a fighter, but not in the sense that I think Trump imagined. And, you know, it could well be that Trump believes that, you know, he’s the president, and that’s the executive branch, and everybody in there works for him, including the attorney general. And he might think that the attorney general is the equivalent of his lawyer. And, of course, that’s not the case; that’s not the structure.
That’s why the White House counsel’s office exists. But it’s clear to me that Trump is unhappy with Sessions’ lack of defense of Trump. I think that’s what it comes down to. “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys [sic] crimes & Russia relations?” Now, Trump has a point here.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, I well remember that. I do. I remember Trump… It was during the transition. It might have been before the end of the year. It might have been last December. I think it was in response to a question. Maybe it was shortly after the election. But it was sometime November-December, and Trump was asked if he was going to lock her up, Hillary Clinton. Trump went all magnanimous on everybody. “No, no, no, no, no. We’re not. We’re not gonna investigate the Clintons. It was humiliating enough that she lost this way.”
So, yeah, I remember Trump himself saying that she wasn’t gonna be investigated. Now, he was of course speaking of the executive branch, meaning the attorney general. There’s nothing stopping Congress from doing it. But even so, there’s just a difference. Speaking now in the political sense: The Democrats have a killer instinct and the Republicans don’t. Republicans have a survival instinct. They do. They just want to get through the day without the media ripping them to shreds. If they get through the day without the media ripping them to shreds, they’ve survived.
The Democrats want to take every Republican they see out, and they don’t care about magnanimity or sportsmanship or being a good winner, good loser. They just want to win. They don’t want a level playing field, and they don’t want the opposition on the playing field. Their objective since the days of Obama is to get rid of the opposition. We don’t have anybody whgo thinks like that, at least not in elective positions. So if Trump wants an investigation of Hillary, he’s gonna have to pull back from his original statement that there wouldn’t be one.
He’s gonna have to call for it now, because he’s the one who said he wouldn’t do it. As I say, he was trying to be a good sport, win big and good, good sportsmanship and so forth, magnanimity on display. But he’s gonna have to recall that, if he wants others to follow his lead.
RUSH: CNN’s reporting that Rudy Giuliani told them that there’s nothing to this talk about him being vetted for attorney general. And, furthermore, CNN says that Rudy agrees with Sessions that Sessions did have to recuse himself. It could be fake news, though. It’s CNN. They said that Rudy told them that. We’ll have to wait ’til we actually hear it from Rudy rather than CNN saying Rudy told ’em.