- Giuliani was given the wrong time for a debate-prep session, an upcoming book says.
- He wanted Trump to use a more personal strategy in attacking Hunter Biden in a debate, it says.
- Aides tricked Giuliani by giving him a 2 p.m. meeting time instead of noon, the book says.
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In September, then-President Donald Trump sat down for the first in a series of prep sessions for the upcoming debates with then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
During the session, former GOP Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey played Biden, and Trump senior counselor Kellyanne Conway stood in for the Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who would be moderating the first debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, a forthcoming book by the Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker says.
Rudy Giuliani, who was Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, also wanted to take part in the session, according to the book, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.
But he clashed with Christie and Conway over the president’s approach in taking on Biden, to the point where aides intentionally gave Giuliani the wrong start time for the next prep session, the book says.
While Christie suggested that Trump merely bring up Hunter Biden, the Democratic nominee’s son, to throw him off course, Giuliani wanted the president to further discuss Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine, according to the book.
The book says the former New York City mayor’s strategy was not well-received by many in the room.
“Most of the other advisors found Giuliani’s advice to be ‘supremely unhelpful,’ as one characterized his coaching tips for the president,” the book says.
Giuliani sought to return to the next prep session on September 28, a day before the Cleveland debate, but there was a plan in place to tinker with his wishes, according to the book.
“Aides told Giuliani they would be gathering at 2:00 p.m., though they were scheduled to start at noon. They had tricked Giuliani by giving him the wrong time,” the book says.
When Giuliani finally arrived at the next debate prep, he was so late that he was able to engage in only the last 30 minutes of the session, according to the book.
During the Cleveland debate, Trump adopted the advice that the book says Giuliani gave. He lodged personal attacks against Hunter Biden over his past substance-use issues and attempted to link him to nefarious overseas business deals.
Joe Biden brushed off the negative onslaught and quickly came to his son’s defense.
“My son, like a lot of people at home, had a drug problem,” he said. “He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.”