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. Esq, New York, New York

    Rudy is a changed man since he met that woman, who changed him for the worst. She will cost him the nomination; and eventually she will leave him, taking him to the cleaners.

    December 10, 2007 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  2. B. Monel

    Why, now the press is interested in Juliani life. When is was the Mayor this man was God for the press. Please get a life.

    December 10, 2007 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  3. Freddy, New York, NY

    Am I the only person who thinks that an emotional interest of a civic leader warrants protection? I watched this interview; Tim Russert is a bully and a moron. He can't think his way out of a paperbag, as evidenced by his dogged pursuit of such frivolous "issues." get some perspective.

    December 10, 2007 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  4. whiplash

    yes, it's drip, drip, drip. as i've been saying to folks who read my blog, guiliani is a train that has to be stopped, but not by us. his own misdeeds, bad judgment and arrogance (as i saw on his face, along with flubbering on 'meet the press' sunday) will bring him down.

    December 10, 2007 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  5. Terry, El Paso, TX

    I cannot find words to express my amusement. The family values party has been enmeshed in one seamy sex scandal after another for a couple of years now. Rat after Republican rat is slinking away from the sinking Republican ship, electing to "spend more time with my family" rather than be a member of the minority.

    This is not to say that Conservatism is no longer a real danger to the republic. The corporate big shots are still writing checks and so a new crop of them will emerge from somewhere and a new batch of phony issues and mock scandals will be flying from the fax machines in future elections.

    The corporate boys would prefer Giuliani because he would still play ball with them. Unfortunately he has a personal life that would provide lots of ammo. There are lots of Americans who vote based on sneering gossip and whispered scandal. They would be swayed by the stories that have yet to come out.

    Romney has the Mormon thing around his neck, and many who are in the Southern "snake handler" denominations would feel that a vote for a Mormon would be tacit approval of Mormonism, which they consider to be a heresy – which it is, of course.

    However, the money guys would still pump money into a Huckabee campaign, but his chances in the general election are not good. Most Americans don't want a southern preacher for President.

    The Republicans just don't have a candidate.

    December 10, 2007 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  6. Doug from Charlotte, NC

    I certainly hope Americans wake up and stop the unwarranted love fest with Ghooliani. As a former NYC resident I'm not impressed with his record, nor am I willing to concede the presidency to another moron, whose only feat was being mayor when NYC was attacked. Besides his infedility, his own children not associating with him, his law firm supporting the texas highway project,his leading a mob of drunken cops to storm gracie mansion when dinkins was mayor and his support for sanctuary cities what other qualities does he have. Oh, I forgot these things aren't important when deciding on the presidency.

    December 10, 2007 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  7. Sharon, Littleton, CO

    My comment is short and to the point: Guiliani is a sleazeball.

    December 10, 2007 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  8. Mike M, Binghamton, NY

    I'm glad Mr. Giuliani does not be believe secret service protection for his hypothetical presidential mistress "would not be appropriate"...I am suprised he didn't use this opportunity to make clear that having a presidential mistress in itself would not be appropriate.

    December 10, 2007 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  9. Bill, Alabama

    If Rudy starts admitting his mistakes, he will be the first Republican office holder to admit his misdeeds in some time. For the others, it denial, denial, denial.

    December 10, 2007 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  10. Keith C. Smith, Leesburg, IN.

    I was going to vote for Guilliani but not now...look at his past. What should of been his most personal asset, his wife...even though he wasn't getting along with her...had an extramarrital for one never done that...even if I had wanted should always wait till your out of a relationship before enticing into another. While we are at it...are there any good christian republicans out there? Romney no...God made us for only one person...not having two or three or it sex you just want or can you love, truly love more than one person.

    December 10, 2007 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  11. Betty Webster NY

    And if he became president would his 'big' mistake lead to world war 3?

    December 10, 2007 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  12. Joe, Wake Forest NC

    Is this Rudy’s “Howard Dean Moment”? Admitting that you make few mistakes but big ones is not going to get you any votes. He should stick to his talking points… I mean talking point (9-11) and that’s it.

    December 10, 2007 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  13. jon, houtson, TX

    Giuliani and partners client list.
    Yeah I bet you won't release it you crook.
    He represents clients like CENTRA from Spain, the company that will operate the NAFTA super highway toll roads that are being built with our taxes, and members of the elite of QATAR who are known contacts, payors, and harbingers of Bin Ladena dn Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    This country so does not want another neocon. If he gets the nomination it is as good as the GOP throwing in the towel.
    Too bad our democracy is rigged.

    December 10, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  14. TC Orlando, FL

    I don't hate the guy and there are defintitely worse people (what can be worse than the moron we have now) but I think he's just too slimy. A typical politician. After 8 years of pure slime, we need a change. Granted they are all slimy or else they wouldn't be politicians, it's to what degree, and this guy is way up there.

    December 10, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  15. Kim, Dallas, TX

    NO THANK YOU TO THIS CANDIDATE! We need someone in office we can trust with our money. They take enough of it as it is.

    December 10, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  16. JB Boston MA

    I saw this interview, and, overall, I think he did well. Other than the timeline issue of having security when no one knew she was his girlfriend (Russert made this accusation), he sounded, dare I say, Presidential.

    He admitted "MISTAKES". We have all wanted a Pres to admit they aren't perfect for many years now. But, ultimately, I still have the impression he is slimy.

    I am excited to see Romney next week!

    December 10, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    Well Rudy shows you where he is coming from.
    He will use the full wealth and power of the US to protect his friends, at the expense of the rest of us. That sure makes him a Bush clone.

    December 10, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  18. JFK, PHX, AZ

    While I commend his 'honesty', I do not think he has what it takes to make major decisions on the Presidential level. I believe he managed 9/11 differently than we were all be led to believe. To locate the NY Emergency Response Center in the Twin Towers after the 1993 bombing was a fatal error that led to more confusion and possible deaths on 9/11. That was a no-brainer Rudy!

    December 10, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  19. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Taxpayer-funded protection of his mistress is hardly an issue compared to his catatrosphic decisions as mayor of New York to ignore strident requests he upgrade the police and firefighters' radio and communications network after the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center revealed their antiquated natures, and that he not locate his Command Center at the Twin Towers complex. History shows the tragic results and why both the NYC firefighters and police organizations have released letters speaking for their memberships blasting him for those extremely poor decisions. And he wants to run and "protect" America?

    December 10, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  20. Tonya, Burlington, North Carolina

    I have no issue with his declaration that he will not reveal his client list. After all, that likely would fall under some interpretation of the "attorney-client" privelege. HOWEVER, his arrogance in having an affair IN FULL VIEW of the media and his then-wife is inexcusable and a character trait that he will no doubt carry over to the White House. That is specifically the "who-cares-what-you-think-I-am-the-President-and-can-do-what-I-want". It's excercising bad judgement on a colossal scale. Pay attention, America. The best predictor of future behavior is someone's past choices. I don't care that he's had three wives; I care that he had the GALL to carry it out in the full light of day and expect his constituents to 'overlook' his fooling around on "company time". Keep in mind, we only know a hint of the connections between Giuliani, the MOB, and the government officials like Kerik who put GREED before the Badge. We have other less scandal prone candidates. No way would this guy get my vote.

    December 10, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. Juan Stumofu, Baltimore, MD

    Rudy, you've become an embarassment. You cheat on your wife while Mayor (flashback to a President who did the same thing in the Oval Office) and somehow, by SHEER COINCIDENCE, the costs associated with providing your mistress security end up buried in obscure city agency budgets. And why, if not even your family knew you were committing adultery, did Judy need security??

    When you first entered the race I thought I could support you. No more.

    December 10, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  22. Howard, NY

    Giuliani's personal baggage might be a good thing if it distracts everyone from his foreign policy philosophy. One of his top foreign policy advisors is Norman Podhoretz, who is hellbent for war with Iran. A Giuliani presidency might make Bush look competent.

    December 10, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. From The North

    How truly sad that the incompentent, disingenuous, doltish, Caesarism style of leadership that Bush has displayed during two terms in office has belittled leadership qualities to the point where Americans would actually consider the likes of Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, Paul, or any Republican Candidate for President!

    Giuliani admitting he has made mistakes is apparently seen as an admirable quality now! Thanks Mr. Bush.

    God Help Us All!

    December 10, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  24. Tom

    I 100% agree!If people dont know who Ron Paul is and what he stands for they owe it to themselves and their family to "google" Ron Paul and learn the facts.

    December 10, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    What if there were TWO presidential hypothetical mistresses? Could he stretch the Secret Service protection that far? This could boost the sagging economy by creating new jobs for both presidential mistresses and extra agents hired to watch them.

    December 10, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
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