December 10th, 2007
08:09 AM ET
15 years ago

Giuliani: Nathan did not want police protection

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

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. JoeDuck

    I think Giuliani has far too much baggage for the typical Republican voter, who can only overlook so much before losing interest in a candidate.

    December 9, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  2. Brad, Pittsburgh, PA

    Any republican that supported the impeachment of Clinton should be outraged over this. Not only did the guy cheat on his wife, he got her personal police protection. Hopefully wife #3 doesn't get too old while Rudy is in office, forcing him to upgrade to #4.

    December 9, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  3. Dan, Denver CO

    Howsabout we not let this clown make any "big" mistakes while in charge of our country. I've had about enough of big mistakes.

    December 9, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  4. Paul, Tampa, FL

    This was a pretty revealing interview in a very bad way for Rudy. Like W, Rudy doesn't pay much attention to the qualifications or integrity of the people he appoints to key positions. In fact, the only real qualification, as with Bush, is loyalty. We need look no further than Iraq or New Orleans to see the folly in this kind of administrative modus operandi.

    I wonder, will Rudy buy a ranch in Texas and start wearing the Canadian tuxedo (i.e. jean shirt and pants) for the press like W did the year before the 2000 election cycle? I'm sure FNN can spin it to make 51% of Americans believe Rudy is a good ol' cowboy from way back.

    December 9, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  5. Rick, Sioux Falls, SD

    These people running for President aren't even first tier liars. So the police gave Giuliani's mistress a city car with a police driver and suggested that the cost should be laundered through obscure agencies instead of the mayor's budget?

    The public may be stupid, but ...

    December 9, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  6. Tim, DC

    What a scumbag.

    December 9, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  7. Jaik , chicago, IL

    Hypocrites spent millions of tax dollars hounding Bill Clinton, and then look to nominate someone with a history of extra-maritl affairs. and then fight tooth and nail against investigations into things like torture, WMD, building 7, etc

    December 9, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  8. Robert, Dallas, texas

    wow, no comments about this. where are the evangelicals when you need them?

    December 10, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  9. Dee Mahler, Seattle, WA

    Tax dollars were spent to protect the mistress of a public figure. If this decision was made by the police then both they and Mr. Giulani made bad choices, his was an affair while still married and the police for making his mistress an agenda item in the first place. Was it the police who wanted to move the mistress into Gracie Mansion while his wife and children were still living there, too? Seems to me that Rudy is passing the buck for his choices. I cannot reconcile the logic and the air or superiority. This is character flaw I cannot overcome in a presidential candidate.

    December 10, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  10. Wallace Chicago IL

    This guy is a slime America. I'm a native New Yorker who lived in New Jersey and worked in New York when he was Mayor. Don't be fooled.

    Since when does a mistress get publicly funded security detail? Are you kidding me? Tax payer money funding adultery... Unbelievable.


    December 10, 2007 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  11. Joel - Raleigh, NC

    It's amazing how Giuliani talks about his affair and his despicable behavior towards his family at the time with such a complete lack of remorse.

    December 10, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  12. John Allen, Boston MA

    Guiliani's sleeping around is exactly the reason I'm voting for Mitt Romney. I don't for a second doubt that Giuliani will have a presidential mistress. Read the Vanity Fair article about him. Even his closest aides said that "a leapard doesn't change its spots." Romney, on the other hand, is the only top tier Republican candidate whose personal life is exemplary. There's lots of other reasons to vote for Romney. I just believe that a candidate's personal life is serious business. If a man cannot honor his highest commitment (to his family), how can he be trusted with his commitments to the nation. We don't need another Bill Clinton. I'm voting for Romney.

    December 10, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  13. Wade Enns Tyler, Texas

    Put the Rudy and Clinton scandals behind us, let America turn the page and look to a new man for a new time Mitt Romney, he is not perfect but he warms my heart that he is so caompassionate and his caring concern is so genuine that America is warming up to him. He preys to the same God and comes from a religon that practices peace and values life those are the values of America.

    December 10, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  14. Rob G. Oakland, CA

    When does he plan to reimburse taxpayers?

    December 10, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  15. Rosemary K. Lake Mills WI

    This should be the new Republican motto,"I don't make many mistakes, but when I make them they're big ones". This guy is a bad joke in a fine suit. And they crucified Clinton for what....?

    December 10, 2007 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  16. Mrs. America

    It takes only one big mistake–say like another 9-11, and Giuliani admits he's prone to big mistakes. That should give one, or a whole voting public, reason to pause. This is not presidential material. It's scary to think of him at the top of the Rep list.

    December 10, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  17. Steve, Portland , OR

    Hopefully you will be explaining your past actions clear thru the primaries and people will figure out your not much more than a opportunist and a corrupt one at that. We need real change.

    December 10, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  18. Anti-HomeWrecher

    Sorry Rudy , but we want a First Lady. Not A First.......ahem.........

    December 10, 2007 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  19. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    "I don't make many mistakes, but when I make them, they're big ones."

    That's exactly why mine is a vote you'll never have, Rudy. Go home. We're better off without your 9/11 rhetoric.

    December 10, 2007 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  20. Ahtram, Oakton, Virginia

    If Nathan was allowed to have publicly-funded security, what about all the other people receiving "real" death threats? What about Guiliani's mother and father, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts an uncles, high school friends, college fraternity brothers, law school associates? Did they need security too? This is just wrong.

    Let's face it–police security was a neat way for Rudy to keep an eye on Nathan. It was nothing more than a publicly-funded form of stalking.

    December 10, 2007 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  21. John M, Houston, TX

    Is anyone seriously considering a man who cheated on his wife to be our next president? Sorry, that's just wrong.

    December 10, 2007 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  22. Lee, Mays Landing New Jersey

    Protection of a presidential mistress would be far, far more important than his mistress when he was mayor. Thimk if she were taken hostage!
    I'm sure Rudy would want his mistress protected if he were president; it would be the smart thing to do for our national security too (so a president can't be influenced or blackmailed) and therefore I believe was lying. He'd want the protection for sure.

    This is a very uncomfortable subject for the repubublican presidential nominee, and so he is lying through his teeth about this.

    December 10, 2007 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  23. Jeff D, Starkville MS

    Do we really want another cheater in the white house? We want an ETHICAL president, someone like Ron Paul!!

    December 10, 2007 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  24. mark wilkes barre pa

    Good job Rudy, get it all out in the open. I Will not be voting your way but If this is all the haters have on you , you will do fine in this election. I can't wait to see how they will try and spin this one after the antics of Bill Clintons days as president.

    December 10, 2007 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  25. Independent in IA


    Hey Rudy, get the antiseptic ready. You're gonna need it for the hole in your butt that will be caused by the upcoming 'truth-bite'.

    Russert asked a relevant question. MY question would be..."What would you consider a 'credible threat'? And would you try to appropriate Blair House to house her in?

    December 10, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
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