WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump listened to drunken advice from Rudy Giuliani instead of his professional campaign advisers, a former Trump campaign adviser testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” on election night when he told campaign aides that Trump should falsely declare victory, former Trump adviser Jason Miller said in a video deposition the committee revealed on Monday.
“The mayor was definitely intoxicated but I do not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president,” Miller said in his video deposition in response to a question from committee staffers.
“Mayor Giuliani was saying, ‘We won it. They’re stealing it from us. Where did the votes come from? We need to go say that we won’ and essentially anyone who didn’t agree with this position was being weak,” Miller said.
Monday’s hearing, the committee’s second public presentation of its evidence, focused on Trump’s lie that he actually won the 2020 election as part of a broader conspiracy to overturn the results. The effort culminated in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, where marauding Trump supporters tried to intimidate members of Congress into throwing out the Electoral College result.
The committee also played video clips of its prior interviews with Giuliani and Trump campaign staffer Bill Stepien, who also testified that Giuliani said on Election Day that Trump should declare victory even though ballots were still being counted.
Miller and Stepien said they told the president it was too early to declare victory, but that Trump disagreed.
“It was far too early to be making any calls like that,” Stepien said. “Ballots were still being counted. It was far too early to be making any proclamation like that.”
Several other people close to the president, such as former Attorney General Bill Barr, said in video testimony to the committee that they told the president in the weeks after the election there had been no widespread fraud. Former acting Deputy Attorney General Rich Donoghue testified that the Justice Department thoroughly investigated dozens of potential fraud cases, but that they were all unfounded.
“There were so many of the allegations that when you gave him the very direct answer on one of them, he wouldn’t fight us on it, but he would move to another allegation,” Donoghue said.
Summarizing the testimony, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said, “President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim he won and insist that the vote counting stop to falsely claim everything was fraudulent.”
Giuliani denied through an attorney on Monday that he was drunk on election night, according to CNN.
In his interview with the committee, Giuliani said, “I spoke to the president several times that night.” Interviewers apparently did not ask Giuliani if he had been drinking on election night; he has said he enjoys Scotch whisky but has denied being an alcoholic.
The committee then played a clip of Trump that night calling the election a “fraud” and saying, “Frankly, we did win this election.”
After the hearing, HuffPost asked committee member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) why it matters that Giuliani was inebriated on election night.
“To me, it doesn’t make much difference,” Raskin said. “It’s just a fact that obviously came out during the questioning, but it does further erode whatever credibility you might have placed in his judgment.”