Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that police, not the former New York City mayor himself, had decided his then-girlfriend Judith Nathan needed publicly-funded security during their extra-marital affair.
"I did not make the judgment, I did not ask for it, Judith didn't particularly want it," the former New York City mayor said in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press. "But it was done because [police] took the view that it was serious and it had to be done that way."
He bristled when asked by interviewer Tim Russert if a hypothetical presidential mistress would rate the same level of protection, saying a Secret Service detail "would not be appropriate" in the absence of a credible threat.
Giuliani did not name a specific incident that led New York police to create a full threat assessment for Nathan, but did say he had been the target of multiple death threats since his time as a Mafia-targeting prosecutor.
He has faced charges in recent days that he sought to cover up Nathan's taxpayer-funded security expenses by shifting them to obscure city agencies.
He has said that allegation, first reported in the Politico, is inaccurate, and that all expenses were ultimately paid by the New York Police Department.
Giuliani said Sunday that he would likely not have promoted Bernard Kerik to police commissioner had he known of his alleged ties to a company reportedly linked to the Mafia.
He also conceded that he did not realize the extent of the threat posed by al Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks, and said he did not plan to release his client list from Giuliani Partners, which he co-owns, or sever his ties with the firm.
He dismissed some of the most difficult questions with a laugh, quoting another former New York City mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia: "I don't make many mistakes, but when I make them, they're big ones."
–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand