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Four takeaways from Rudy Giuliani’s meandering press conference

Rudy Giuliani.
Rudy Giuliani.Drew Angerer/Getty

President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, held a press conference Thursday where he repeated a series of baseless allegations as he continued to make a show of alleging widespread improprieties. Evidence for his claims has been scant, and in many cases Trump’s lawyers are not even alleging fraud when appearing before judges.

The press conference, which lasted about 90 minutes, featured several combative and a few curious moments. Here’s a closer look:

Giuliani and his associates repeated a series of baseless claims about the election

Giuliani repeated a number of claims about the election, including some that have been already debunked. Incidents of deceased individuals voting have repeatedly found to be incorrect. Trump’s lawyers claimed that vote counting machines are suspicious, but Georgia Thursday night completed a hand recount of paper ballots that confirmed the results of the election, though it discovered errors that have reduced Biden’s lead to about 12,000 votes.

Many of the allegations of fraud stem from poll watchers who filed affidavits included with lawsuits in battleground states aimed at delaying vote certification. Those affidavits lean into innuendo and unsupported suggestions of fraud.

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For example, they refer to suitcases in a polling place, but make no suggestion that ballots were being secretly counted. There are allegations of ballots being duplicated — something routinely done when a ballot is physically damaged. There are claims that partisan poll watchers were too far away to observe the process and therefore something fishy may have been going on. But they don’t have proof. Poll watchers have no auditing role in elections; they are volunteer observers.

Giuliani, holding up one of the affidavits during his press conference, said he had “a hundred more” of them, but could not show them publicly because some of those who made them said they did not want to be “harassed.”

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One of President Trump’s legal advisers chastised journalists when pressed for evidence of the claims

A reporter in attendance asked whether President-elect Joe Biden was part of Trump’s voter fraud claims, and what evidence Giuliani had if so. Giuliani dodged the question before Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign legal adviser, called the question “fundamentally flawed.”

“Your question is fundamentally flawed when you’re asking ‘where’s the evidence?’” said Ellis. “You clearly don’t understand the legal process. What we have asked for in the court is to not have the certification of false results and to say hold on a minute we have evidence that we will present to the court. We haven’t had the opportunity to present that to the court. We’re giving you an overview, and a preview of what we’ve discovered. But no court yet have we had that opportunity.”

It was one of many attacks on the press the Trump campaign’s lawyers made during the event.

“For those of you who are here in this room or have maybe tuned out in other networks, clearly you’ve never been court reporters. Trials take time, putting on evidence takes time. This is basically an opening statement so the American people can understand what the networks have been hiding,” Ellis said.

Giuliani had streaks running down the side of his face

At one point during the press conference, streaks appeared running down the side of Giuliani’s face as he perspired, leading some to speculate on social media about whether he was wearing some sort of hair dye or makeup.

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A union representing stage workers even took the opportunity to advocate for the hiring of union hair and makeup professionals.


There was a hot mic moment on YouTube

On the Trump campaign’s official YouTube livestream, two unidentified voices appeared in the middle of the press conference questioning whether they could be heard by those tuning in.

“Can they hear us on the stream? I guess not,” one person said.

“I don’t think so,” the other replied.

There was a pause, and then the first person began mocking Giuliani’s appearance. The sound was eventually cut.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.





Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.