Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who recently joined President Trump’s legal team, called FBI agents who raided the offices of Trump’s personal lawyer, Nazi “stormtroopers” during his interview with Fox News Wednesday night.
"The question there was, the only possible violation there would be, was it a campaign finance violation, which usually would result in a fine, by the way, not this big stormtroopers coming in and breaking down his apartment and breaking down his office." pic.twitter.com/GH84wazDaq
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) May 3, 2018
Fired FBI Director James Comey ripped Giuliani for the remark, Tweeting: “I know the New York FBI. There are no “stormtroopers” there; just a group of people devoted to the rule of law and the truth. Our country would be better off if our leaders tried to be like them, rather than comparing them to Nazis.”
I know the New York FBI. There are no “stormtroopers” there; just a group of people devoted to the rule of law and the truth. Our country would be better off if our leaders tried to be like them, rather than comparing them to Nazis.
— James Comey (@Comey) May 3, 2018
Giuliani’s “stormtroopers” smear appears to have been overshadowed by his bombshell revelation that President Trump had reimbursed his personal attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 he paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about their alleged affair, contradicting Cohen’s claims that he made the payment with his own money.
As NY Magazine notes:
The Washington Post’s account of Giuliani’s interview noted the remark in a single sentence, in the 30th paragraph of its story. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Politico’s account of Giuliani’s interview did not even mention the stormtrooper remark at all.
No doubt the flurry of hair-on-fire legal jeopardy unleashed by Giuliani’s remarks helped bury the newsworthiness of his stormtrooper line. Still, the casualness with which the line was uttered and received does indicate something important about the way Republican thinking about law enforcement has evolved. The party’s respect for the rule of law is disintegrating before our eyes, and in its place is forming a Trumpian conviction that the law must be an instrument of reactionary power.
CNN’s Brian Stelter noted that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell brought up the Nazi history of Giuliani’s “stormtroopers” remark shortly after he made the comment.
MSNBC Justice & Security Analyst Matthew Miller, who previously served as the Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Department of Justice, slammed Giuliani’s “despicable” remarks on Twitter:
Giuliani just referred to federal law enforcement agents from the district where he used to be US attorney as “stormtroopers.” What a despicable human being he is.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) May 3, 2018
The president needs to apologize for his attorney comparing federal law enforcement agents to Nazis. This is an absolute new low in their attacks on the FBI.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) May 3, 2018
During an appearance on MSNBC Thursday, Miller ripped into the Giuliani and called on the President to issue an apology for his remarks on Fox News:
“This was an absolutely reprehensible thing for Rudy Giuliani to say. He was comparing federal law enforcement agents, acting to execute a search warrant approved by an independent magistrate judge, as Nazis. That’s what stormtroopers were. Rudy Giuliani is the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He used to oversee the work of the FBI agents in this district.
He knows they are not Nazis. And last night he was not just appearing on his own behalf, he was appearing as the personal representative and spokesman for the President of the United States, the man who ultimately oversees the FBI. All these FBI agents who are out every day putting their lives on the line to fight terrorist, to fight violent cartels, to put criminals in jail, work for the President of the United States and his lawyer is out calling them Nazis. It is a horrible thing for the President to say. The White House should be out today, making clear whether they agree with it, whether they disagree, and ultimately apologizing.”
Rudy’s unhinged Hannity appearance was a timely reminder the Justice IG report is due any day now about the FBI “stormtroopers” leaking to him during the campaign about the Hillary probe. https://t.co/AGhw3CYOqb pic.twitter.com/kzUDZMJzhx
— Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) May 3, 2018
So the president of the US describes Nazis as "very fine people" & his lead attny, Rudy Giuliani, refers to the men & women of the FBI as "stormtroopers," i.e., Nazis.
They may not be able to tell who's who but I, who have worked w/many FBI agents to fight extremism, sure can.
— Mark Pitcavage (@egavactip) May 3, 2018
This echoes a comment that Trump lawyer Roy Cohn used in the early 1970s, when he said feds investigating racial bias were using "gestapo" tacitcs and were "descending upon the Trump offices with five stormtroopers.”
— Michael Kranish (@PostKranish) May 3, 2018
Giuliani called Federal Law Enforcement Agents “stormtroopers”…. Rudy compared the men & women that worked for him in the SDNY, to Nazis.
A porn star has more credibility & dignity than the President of the United States, & his incompetent legal team. https://t.co/18izy19cM9
— Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) May 3, 2018
How despicable that someone w/a long career in law-enforcement like #Giuliani would compare #FBI agents, who were just doing their jobs, to Nazi “stormtroopers.” He’s sold the last remnants of his soul… and for a lying, corrupt, racist, treasonous #Trump.
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) May 3, 2018