It appears to be an open secret in Washington that President Trump is Rudy Giuliani's last remaining fan.
Numerous Trump allies have been trying to get the president to rid himself of his attorney before he does too much damage, Politico reports, echoing an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal, in which a source said Trump was the only person in his administration who didn't mind the former New York City mayor's frequent and rambling TV appearances.
It's not just about those TV appearances anymore, though. Two of Giuliani's contacts who helped him try to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine were arrested on campaign finance-related charges, and Giuliani himself may be under investigation for possibly breaking lobbying laws in light of allegations that he undermined the former American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
Trump said Friday he wasn't sure if Giuliani was still his lawyer, though he remained complimentary of him. Giuliani later confirmed that he was indeed still representing the president, perhaps to the chagrin of Trump's other confidants.
"Rudy needs to stop talking," a former Trump campaign official who remains close to the administration said. Another source said Giuliani is "massively hurting" Trump, and an outside Trump adviser said the lawyer needs to "focus on himself and not Ukraine."
President Trump doesn't see anything wrong with a little election meddling. On Monday, the president tweeted support for Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach, casting aside the opinions of his advisers and GOP officials, reports Axios.
Republican strategists were reportedly crossing their fingers that Trump would stay out of this race, but the president apparently loves seeing his off-the-cuff remarks tangibly change the course of an election. This is not the first race in which Trump has relished the idea of pulling a few strings to favor an unpopular candidate: Advisers were similarly distressed when the president endorsed Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.).
Kobach is the hard-line conservative that Democrats hoped would win the primary, reports The New York Times, because he is a much more controversial candidate than some of the other, more establishment-friendly GOP hopefuls. Trump reportedly wanted to endorse Kobach even earlier, given their similarities and mutual respect for one another, but his staff intervened, telling him it would be too politically risky.
Trump "thinks it's fun" to have such influence over state-wide races, sources told Axios, and his staff apparently can't stop him from stepping in for a jolly good time. Perhaps advisers will begin using reverse psychology to keep him from commenting on the next primary. Summer Meza