- Trump told Lindsey Graham that Giuliani was his lawyer because no "sane lawyers" would represent him, a new book says.
- "None of the sane lawyers can represent me because they've been pressured," Trump said, per the book.
- He also acknowledged that Giuliani was "crazy" and "says crazy shit."
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President Donald Trump said in November that he picked former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to lead his election legal challenges because no "sane lawyers" could represent him.
That's according to "Peril," by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which Insider obtained.
The book said that Trump shrugged off warnings that Giuliani and the GOP lawyer Sidney Powell's claims about mass voter fraud in the 2020 election were becoming untethered from reality. Those concerns intensified after Giuliani and Powell held a rambling, sweaty news conference alleging that a global communist conspiracy was responsible for thwarting Trump in the election.
"They were just beyond bizarre," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told Trump afterward, according to the book. "And I think it took a lot of the air out of the balloon that the challenges are so unfocused, haphazard and conspirational." He added that the news conference, during which black liquid was seen trickling down Giuliani's face, "accelerated the beginning of the end."
But Trump brushed Graham off, Woodward and Costa reported. He also told advisors of Giuliani: "He's crazy. He says crazy shit. I get it. But none of the sane lawyers can represent me because they've been pressured. The actual lawyers have been told they cannot represent my campaign."
Woodward and Costa's reporting adds another layer to what the author Michael Wolff wrote in his book, "Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency."
Specifically, he wrote that in the days after the election, when Giuliani returned to Trump's inner circle, Trump "explained to a caller that he knew Rudy took a drink too many, and that he was a loose cannon, and that he said a lot of shit that was not true."
But Trump acknowledged that "Rudy would fight. He could be counted on to fight even when others wouldn't. And, too, he would work for free," Wolff wrote.
Giuliani's longtime assistant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
By January 6, Wolff wrote, many core administration officials and White House staffers had left or largely distanced themselves from the action. They left only a small circle of aides who were still involved in Trump's day-to-day activities and, with the White House counsel's office largely checked out, all the departures centered Giuliani as Trump's main legal confidant.
Giuliani, Wolff said, "was drinking heavily and in a constant state of excitation, often almost incoherent in his agitation and mania" in the lead-up to the violent Capitol insurrection on January 6. Giuliani was obsessed with the idea that then-Vice President Mike Pence could somehow preclude Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden's election victory, Wolff wrote.
"There is no question, none at all, that the VP can do this. That's a fact. The Constitution gives him the authority not to certify. It goes back to the state legislatures," Giuliani said repeatedly on the phone to Trump and anyone else who would listen, Wolff wrote.
In reality, Congress does not "certify" slates of electoral votes, but counts and affirms the Electoral College votes submitted by states, and the vice president's role in that process is only ceremonial. They do not have the power to "send back" certificates to state legislatures, who do not certify presidential elections in the first place.