Figuring Out What Really Happened to Rudy Giuliani

Ken Frydman was the one-time press secretary during Giuliani’s successful run for mayor in 1993 and more recently became a well known critic of the two-term mayor who was acclaimed nationally in the dark days after the 9/11 terror attacks. The former press secretary says Rudy’s main aim nowadays should be try to figure out how to not die in prison. And he wonders: could Rudy ultimately flip on former president Donald Trump?

| 25 Aug 2023 | 12:34

Figuring out what happened to Rudy Giuliani has been my side-job these past four years.

It started with a New York Times opinion column headlined “What Happened to Rudy Giuliani?” and published on October 8, 2019—25 years to the day that Rudy officiated my wedding. My wife, Liz Bruder, and I met working on his first-winning mayoral campaign in 1993.

Since then, I’ve written many more opinion columns and done numerous TV and radio interviews about Rudy.

I was even consulting producer on a four-part CNN documentary, “Giuliani: What Happened to America’s Mayor?

But I’m still not sure what turned Rudy Giuliani from a legendary U.S. attorney and transformative mayor into an indicted co-conspirator of Donald Trump. It could’ve been his unquenchable greed or desperation for relevance. Perhaps proximity and access to power. Possibly Alcohol and Oxy. Undoubtedly recklessness, sloppiness and loss of self-respect. Definitely the wrong women. Maybe a touch of dementia.

Probably all of the above.

Here are two things I do know about Rudy Giuliani:

* Rudy’s only goal should be to die a free man. If his long-time lawyer, colleague and friend Bob Costello is telling Rudy anything else, he’s lying to his client. Do the math. Rudy is 79, going on 80 next May 28. He faces 13 counts in Georgia, including “Violation of the Georgia RICO Act”. Rudy knows all about RICO.

* Rudy Giuliani will not go to jail for Donald Trump. No one goes to jail for someone else. Except for Michael Cohen and Allen Weisselberg. I guess Donald Trump made it worth their (prison) time.

Rudy has only himself to blame for being indicted in Georgia as part of a RICO conspiracy case involving 19 defendants, including Trump. His criminal charges are all self-inflicted.

My mother asks why I “keep kicking Rudy when he’s down.” Simple, I reply. “Because he keeps getting back up.” Any goodwill I’ve felt toward him over the last three decades has dried up. Today, I only feel sorry for our country after the divisive damage he and Trump have wrought.

People assume I’ve gotten rich from writing and talking about Rudy. Not true. Unlike Rudy, money wasn’t my motive. My goal was to do a small part to preserve democracy.

Some say I’ve betrayed Rudy.

Again, not true. I didn’t wait 25 years to exact vengeance for some perceived wrong. I could no longer reconcile the man of seeming-integrity and character I spoke for in 1993 with the insurrection inciter and liar for Donald Trump he’d become.

My flurry of media activity critiquing Rudy and Donald has helped brighten the spotlight on their alleged criminal activities. I convinced myself that Rudy would come to his senses after reading my Times piece. After all, I reasoned, he took my advice in the early-90s.

I was wrong.

Ever the contrarian, Rudy instead doubled-down and headed back to the Ukraine. At least his Ukrainian cronies, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were arrested the day my Times column ran.

Rudy’s greed peaked when he went into business with Fruman and Parnas. They offered him $500,000 to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Igor and Lev paid Rudy half a million dollars to work for him. How could he not sell them what was left of his corrupted soul after Trump had already plundered it?

Now’s the time for Rudy to use the “very, very good insurance” he “jokingly” claimed to have on Trump in September 2019. Only, he wasn’t joking. Rudy’s got what Jack Smith, Fani Willis and Alvin Bragg all want: The goods on Donald Trump.

Ken Frydman is CEO of Source Communications LLC, a strategic communications consulting firm in Manhattan.

Here are two things I do know about Rudy Giuliani: Rudy’s only goal should be to die a free man...Rudy Giuliani will not go to jail for Donald Trump.” Ken Frydman, CEO Source Communications