As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the 1980s, Rudy Giuliani earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor in going after white-collar crime and members of the American mafia. Today, Giuliani finds himself in an opposite role, a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The former New York mayor was an informal adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, and he was a frequent spokesman. Giuliani was the first person to be mentioned by Trump in the latter’s election acceptance speech. “He’s unbelievable,” Trump said. “He’s traveled with us and he went through meetings, and Rudy never changes.”
Giuliani, an attorney, was considered for secretary of state in Trump’s administration and often was mentioned as a possible attorney general. Giuliani’s past legal and consulting work, which raised concerns about his overseas business relationships, thwarted his efforts to become America’s top diplomat.
Giuliani and Trump have known each other for decades and share an aggressive rhetorical style and similar policy beliefs — including support for law enforcement in ways that have marginalized minorities, and adopting forceful positions on immigration enforcement.
In the early 1990s, Giuliani became the first Republican elected mayor of New York City in two decades. Giuliani served two terms as mayor and during his tenure, which ended in 2001, crime in the city fell significantly. Later, he became known as “America’s Mayor” for his efforts to unite the city following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which destroyed the World Trade Center towers.
Giuliani’s political ambitions included running for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by then retiring four-term Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. After medical, marital and other personal issues, Giuliani withdrew from the race in 2000.
In 2002, the former mayor founded Giuliani Partners, a security consulting firm that had Qatar’s Ministry of the Interior on its roster of clients. The contracts with the ministry were managed by Minister Abdullah bin Khalifah Al Thani, a member of Qatar’s royal family. Abdullah bin Khalifah Al Thani was said to have hosted Osama bin Laden on two visits to the royal family member’s farm, a charge that was repeated in a 2007 Congressional Research Service study.
In 2016, Giuliani began working for the influential law firm Greenberg Traurig, where he led the firm’s global cybersecurity and crisis management team, and served as a senior adviser to executive chairman Richard Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum announced in April that Giuliani would take a leave of absence “to handle matters unrelated to the law firm or its clients.” Giuliani’s work with the firm involved the Turkish government and a Turkish-Iranian businessman who was convicted in connection with a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions.
Giuliani is a one-time presidential hopeful who sought the Republican candidacy for the White House in 2008, but lost the nomination to Arizona Senator John McCain.
Giuliani has been married three times and reports say his current wife, Judith Nathan, filed for divorce in April. The couple have been married for 15 years.
Giuliani is a Brooklyn, New York, native. He turns 74 later this month.