"The case against Netanyahu is a joke. There's not a politician in the world that doesn't do deals with newspapers to get favorable coverage," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of US President Donald Trump's lawyers, said today at the "Globes" Capital Market conference Tel Aviv.
Talking to "Globes" editor-in-chief Naama Sikuler and political commentator Tal Schneider, Giuliani complimented Nentanyahu, saying, "You're very lucky to have a distinguished prime minister who enjoys relations like these with the US president." He defended Trump's behavior with women and attacked the Palestinian Authority and porn-star Stormy Daniels, who published embarrassing reports of her relations with the president.
Asked about his attitude towards the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem, Giuliani said, "Nations are entitled to choose their capitals and Israel chose Jerusalem. That has to be respected. I don't think that the US would be happy if the rest of the world decided that Cincinnati, Boston, or Los Angeles was the capital of the US. We chose Washington as the capital. If you respect someone, you recognize his capital. It's a sign of disrespect if you don't do it. The only reason why people don't recognize Jerusalem is that they are giving in to fear of terrorism from the Palestinian Authority."
Sikuler pointed out to Giuliani that the Israelis, not the Americans, would eventually have to live with the Palestinians. Giuliani answered, "Living with them doesn't mean complying with every irrational request they make. The chaos in the Palestinian Authority has got to end and the Palestinian Authority has got to become peaceful. Most Israelis aren't stupid. They see that the PA is unfit to take responsibility and is educating its children to murder. They're making very dangerous choices."
Schneider told Giuliani, "President Trump is more optimistic because he believes in a package deal that will bring peace, except that the Palestinians are boycotting his representatives." Giuliani responded, "The president is optimistic, but he is also realistic. Look at the way he's handling Iran and North Korea - differently than the last president, who left a real mess. Our president, however, will not abandon security. See how he canceled the meeting with the president of North Korea. The entire dynamics have to change and the Palestinians have to be willing to do things they haven't done in the past. They have to do three things: recognize Israel, promote peace, and come out against terrorism. As of now, they haven't done these things. Our previous presidents, Obama and Clinton, ignored this and the situation only got worse. The most important thing is a realistic approach, and this is what Trump has been doing until now."
Asked about his opinion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Giuliani said, "You're very lucky to have a distinguished prime minister like Netanyahu. I don't agree with everything that anyone does and I don't always agree with myself, but I believe that he is a distinguished leader who intends to make Israel greater, stronger, and safer, and up until now it's been working. Your economy is in a much better state. You were once a socialist country and you may have been fairly good in comparison with your region, but now you're world-class. His (Netanyahu's) vision is very suitable for the Israeli people, one of the most creative peoples in the world. This wasn't the case 25 years ago. Today, people come to Israel because it's a brand for physical and cybersecurity."
Asked about Netanyahu's views about the peace process, Giuliani answered, "You can't make peace by yourself. People who try to do that end up in a war. This might be the lesson of WWII. The Cold War was a result of Truman's mistake in negotiations with the Soviet Union. I think Netanyahu is a realistic person and his connection with Trump is great - two people who look at the world realistically, setting goals, but unwilling to sacrifice their peoples to achieve these goals."
The investigations against Trump and Netanyahu were the main subject in the talk with Giuliani, a former New York State District Attorney and currently President Trump's legal advisor. When Tal Schneider asked him, "Is the president of the US above the law?", Giuliani answered, "US law states that the president has the authority to pardon people who have committed federal crimes. This was determined by our Founding Fathers. President Clinton pardoned criminals who contributed money to his library and got away scot-free. Trump is innocent. He's done nothing bad. There are people who are trying very hard to incriminate him because they're incapable of mentally facing the fact that he is the president, so they're inventing theories. The president has the right and the duty to fire the FBI director. I know the FBI, and he (James Comey) was a terrible organization head who leaked things from the investigation of Hilary Clinton. Holding a press conference and talking about her investigation was like saying, 'I won't file an indictment against you, but you're a murderer.'"
Asked about the investigation against Netanyahu and the prime minister's statement that "There is nothing because there was nothing," Giuliani responded, "The liberal media doesn't like Netanyahu and Trump, so their coverage of them is prejudiced. The case against Netanyahu, at least according to what I've heard, is a joke. The fact that he closed a deal with a newspaper in order to get favorable coverage? There isn't a politician in the world who hasn't done this. It's political. I never filed an indictment against politicians for things that politicians do just to get favorable coverage.
Asked about the concessions to Shaul Elovitch, Giuliani answered, "When I was mayor of New York, I offered jobs to people who supported me. You do favors for people who supported you in politics.
"I put politicians and senior officials in jail, and what (former FBI Director) James Comey did was misuse of the FBI against Clinton and against Trump. He should be punished for it. Do I have to explain why I'm defending people who are being politically persecuted? I've devoted my life to the war on crime. If the media coverage of you is biased, it should be attacked."
Asked about Russian interference with the US presidential elections, Giuliani said, "Is the TV series 'The Americans' being broadcast in Israel? The Russians have been trying to influence our elections since the 1950s and this has to be accepted. Have we Americans never interfered with elections outside the US? Of course we have. We do it to disseminate democratic values - everyone tried to interfere in elections. The question is whether it was done illegally - whether they broke into email accounts, which really is a crime, but the side whose email accounts were broken into should also have protected them. I don't know why Putin preferred Trump as president. Maybe he wanted to prove that he could. No serious journalist in the US thought that Trump would win. I thought he would win."
Asked whether Trump's wife thought he would win, Giuliani answered, "Women always think that their husbands will win. Trump is a real gentleman who respects his wife and loves his daughter and has a warm relationship with his ex-wives - that's not something I can say about everybody. I haven't heard a bad word about him from his ex-wives." About Stormy Daniels, he says, "I don't believe her. Sue me, but her credibility is like that of a lawyer who gets thrown off a case. As a lawyer, I also got cases that weren't real." Sikuler interjected, "Mister, on this stage, we respect women."
When Giuliani was asked how Melania Trump felt about the Stormy Daniels affair, he said, "She believes her husband and she doesn't think it's true. I respect women - beautiful women and women with value - but a woman who sells her body for sexual exploitation I don't respect. Tell me what damage she suffered. Someone who sells his or her body for money has no good name."
Where Trump's economic policy is concerned, Giuliani was asked about the last US employment report, which showed continued growth in the country. He said, "Trump has carried out 60-70% of his agenda to date. Obama managed our economy terribly. The growth rate was awful and his admiring media called the recovery a 'jobless recovery' - there is no such thing. As a businessperson, Trump understands that the most important thing is reforming taxes and regulation that cause our businesses billions of dollars of damage in pharma, the financial industry, and agriculture - maybe not in the media or the entertainment industry, where there isn't any regulation, because the media is protected by the First Amendment. He got rid of a lot of regulation and companies are starting to earn a lot more. The tax reform was very, very important; its effect hasn't been felt yet. He brought a lot of American money back to the US and people who invested in these companies are seeing it. If Pfizer brings back money from Europe, it will be worth a lot more."
Concerning the tension between the US and China, Giuliani said, "We sell a car in China and they put import tax on it. They sell a car in the US and there's no import tax on it - that's not fair trade. There was concern in the US that if it acts tough with China in trade, they won't help us in North Korea, but Trump did it."
As to the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, Giuliani said, "President Reagan, the best president in the 20th century, said, 'Trust, but verify.' I thought that UN headquarters should be moved to Yankee Stadium. The idea of an agreement with Iran was that it was possible to remove some of the sanctions if they move towards nuclear disarmament. Obama gave them billions without their doing anything. That's the most stupid thing that can be done, and I'm glad that the president canceled it, but damage has already been done - they (the Iranians) have already gotten a lot of money and European countries are refusing to impose sanctions on them. If we impose sanctions on them, however, it will cause them a lot of damage. Their economy is already in freefall and demonstrations have broken out in 140 cities in Iran. In contrast to Obama, President Trump is not ignoring this; he's encouraging the demonstrators."
Asked about the possibility of Trump being awarded a Nobel Prize for nuclear disarmament in North Korea, Giuliani said, "In view of the fact that they gave it to Arafat, I don't think that this prize is worth much."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 6, 2018
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018