Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has tested positive for the coronavirus, spent the days leading up to his diagnosis hugging supporters and spending hours inside hearings held indoors across the nation.
In one of the hearings, held in Michigan on Wednesday, Giuliani, 76, even asked his first witness to remove her mask.
Jessy Jacobs refused, and continues to testify despite Giuliani’s request.
Giuliani, the official spearheading his claims of election ‘fraud’, has rarely, if ever, been seen wearing a face mask.
He was being treated at Georgetown University Hospital, according to the New York Times.
The former mayor of New York City is just the latest person in Trump’s circle to test positive for COVID-19, after Trump, the first lady, and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tested positive.
He has traveled the country making Trump’s case that the election was ‘rigged’ and that that it was ‘stolen’ – even traveling to Pennsylvania hours after a member of his legal team announced he had tested positive.
He has appeared both at legislative hearings and at unofficial Republican-run quasi-hearings where witnesses claimed massive fraud, even as judges have tossed out dozens of lawsuits.
He has regularly appeared unmasked at the indoor events, despite numerous close calls and Centers for Disease Control recommendations.
Giuliani’s son, Andrew, 34, announced a positive test after attending a press conference with Trump’s ‘elite strike force’ legal team last month.
Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for coronavirus, President Trump tweeted
GET WELL SOON! President Trump broke the news of Giuliani’s test results in a tweet where he touted his work ‘exposing the most corrupt election’ in history
Trump announced his diagnosis on Sunday afternoon.
‘@RudyGiuliani, by far the greatest mayor in the history of NYC, and who has been working tirelessly exposing the most corrupt election (by far!) in the history of the USA, has tested positive for the China Virus. Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!’ Trump tweeted.
It was not immediately clear why the president tweeted out the news rather than Giuliani himself.
He appeared on a cable morning show Sunday, and was seen regularly pecking on his phone during hearings where he claimed voter fraud.
He is a frequent commentator on Twitter.
Giuliani took charge of the legal effort after former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie himself testified positive shortly after being named.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, another top campaign advisor, also tested positive in recent months, as have a substantial portion of Trump’s inner circle.
Giuliani attended debate prep along with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Trump shortly before Christie tested positive for the virus.
He was one of multiple officials at the event marking the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett that soon became known as a superspreader event.
Giuliani led the battle for Trump to try to get judges or state legislatures to turn back results in an election where he trails President-elect Joe Biden by more than seven million votes.
Giuliani has appeared regularly on Fox News to make claims of voter fraud
Giuliani could be seen sweating as apparent hair dye dripped during a Nov. 19 presser at RNC headquarters
He held an infamous outdoor press conference at Four Seasons Landscaping company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 7, 2020 shortly after the elections
Giuliani is pictured with his son, Andrew, who announced last month he tested positive but was experiencing mild symptoms
In this file photo taken on October 05, 2020 President Donald Trump takes off his facemask as he arrives at the White House upon his return from Walter Reed Medical Center, where he underwent treatment for Covid-19, in Washington, DC
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tested positive for the virus last month
He has been touting ‘bombshell’ video evidence purporting to show voting fraud in Georgia, although the Republican secretary of state’s office has said it amounts to nothing.
On Sunday it was revealed the star witness in Trump’s ‘voter fraud’ case in Michigan was recently released from probation after being accused of sending her fiance’s ex-wife pornographic videos and then attempting to frame her of stealing them, according to reports.
Mellissa Carone, 33, was sentenced to 12 months probation for the offense in Wayne County, Michigan, in September 2019.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani sit to the side during a news conference as President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Washington. Christie would later test positive, as would Trump. Giuliani flew on Air Force One to the first presidential debate in Cleveland
Giuliani was seen hugging and greeting people in Georgia Thursday
Giuliani took part in an interview on Fox News Sunday morning. He reportedly did the hit remotely from his hotel room
He traveled to Pennsylvania for another hearing-style event claiming fraud where Trump called in. He was seated unmasked next to lawyer Jenna Ellis, who played the tape on her cell phone.
He also appeared unmasked at a bizarre press conference at the Republican National Committee in Washington where he and then Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell laid out a conspiracy theory about election vote machines involving Venezuela, China, Cuba, and Democratic election officials.
As Giuliani sweat, his hair dye leaked down the side of his face – in an event Fox news host Sean Hannity recently mocked on his show while Giuliani, appearing as a guest, smiled. He could be seen maskless, blowing his nose, and wiping his handkerchief on his forehead while jammed in with other members of the legal team and reporters seated close by.
Six days after that event, on Nov. 25, Boris Epshteyn, a lawyer and former campaign and White House official who is part of the effort and who appeared there, announced he had tested positive.
Despite the news, Jenna Ellis tweeted that she was ‘Headed to Gettysburg, PA with @RudyGiuliani’ for the election hearing-style event.
Ellis tweeted that both she and Giuliani had tested negative, and that the ‘entire legal team will continue to follow the advice and protocols of our doctors.’
Ellis, 36, lacks the years of experience as a federal prosecutor, mayor, political candidate, and private lawyer – although Giuliani himself had not argued a case in court in years when he appeared before a federal judge in Pennsylvania last month.
If Giuliani were to be sidelined while in isolation or dealing with the virus, Ellis could take up more of the work – although she was recently revealed in profiles to have worked traffic court and fired as a prosecutor. Profiles by the The New York Times and Wall Street Journal failed to fine any court records to back up her claim to be a ‘constitutional lawyer’ even as Trump and Giuliani talk up the prospect of getting a case to the Supreme Court.
Giuliani’s legal efforts have won him regular praise from the president – but also some severe admonishments from trial judges and some of the election officials he has challenged.
Georgia’s Lt. Gov. on Sunday blasted the ‘mountains of misinformation’ in election fraud claims, hours after Trump came to Georgia to claim the election was ‘rigged.’
‘I worry that this continues, you know, fanning of the flames around misinformation puts us in a negative position with regards to the Jan. 5 runoff,’ Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan told CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’
‘The mountains of misinformation are not helping the process – they’re only hurting it,’ he said.
Giuliani sometimes seemed as if he had some special power making him immune from the virus.
He traveled with the president on Air Force One to the first presidential debate in Cleveland amid what was an unfolding spreader event at the White House.
The president, Christie, First Lady Melania Trump, and others had already tested positive.
Giuliani’s test results come as the president’s case enters a critical period – although he is already facing long odds of seeking to overturn the election results, where Joe Biden won 7 million more votes and has a 306 to 323 lead in the Electoral College.
The Electoral College meets December 15. Congress meets January 6 in special session to count the votes. Inauguration Day is January 20.
He has had almost no victories. The Trump campaign and allies filing suits in battleground states where he lost have lost or had 46 cases dismissed since the election, according to Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, who gleefully keeps track.
Giuliani, who represented Trump pro bono, logged numerous hours in the desperate legal fight to overturn the election – making proper contact tracing a gigantic undertaking.
He spent hours questioning witnesses in a hotel lobby in Arizona on Monday, then put in long hours at a Michigan hearing. That event ran more than four hours.
He was seen in video obtained by CNN hugging and greeting people at the Georgia state capital Thursday around the hearing there. He strolled offices near the hearing room while clutching a mask in his hand.
According to NBC News, Giuliani is the 53d member of the administration, campaign or contact to test positive since Trump, Melania Trump, and Hope Hicks tested positive Oct. 1 and Oct. 2.
Ellis in her own tweet Sunday combined prayers for Giuliani’s health with reference to the legal battle to overturn election results.
‘Prayers for Mayor @RudyGiuliani,’ she wrote. ‘He is a tough warrior! The Trump Legal Team will continue our important work to fight for election integrity! We have a great team, along with able local counsel in each state. Our work won’t be affected and we press on. #CountAllLegalVotes.’
Giuliani took part in an interview on Fox News Sunday morning with host Maria Bartiromo. He reportedly did the hit remotely from his hotel room.
He appeared in typical form, and did not look short of breath. He accused Democats of plotting to steal the election in cities known for ‘a lot corruption’ where the courts are ‘not exactly the fairest.’
‘I have no idea who was in charge of it,’ he said of the conspiracy he laid out. He called it a ‘very well executed situation.’