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Trump beginning to doubt quality of elite strike force


Donald Trump has begun to determine that a marginally lucid Rudy Guiliani’s first appearance in federal court in decades did not go particularly well. And he made the worst mistake one can make around Trump, not even looking like a competent lawyer:

The president grew less impressed with Powell over the weekend, as she continued to make outlandish comments, including falsely accusing Georgia’s Republican governor and its secretary of state of being part of a scheme to alter votes.

That ultimately led to the terse statement the Trump campaign put out Sunday night on behalf of Giuliani and senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis: “Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump legal team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity,” it read.

Trump was also not pleased with the optics of the brown substance, presumed to be hair dye or a makeup product, dripping down Giuliani’s face during the nearly two-hour news conference Thursday, according to one of the sources familiar with the president’s reaction.

Outside allies are also irritated about how disorganized and haphazard the legal strategy has appeared, and they have conveyed that to the White House, according to several people close to the president.

On Sunday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime ally of the president, called his legal maneuverings a “national embarrassment,” singling out Powell’s unfounded claims.

Giuliani got his major role on the team “by default,” according to one ally, because he’s unabashed in his support for Trump and willing to say and do things other attorneys may not. Adding to that, the president’s first choice — longtime aide David Bossie — was sidelined from the effort when he was infected with the coronavirus earlier this month.

When Giuliani was announced as taking the lead, it did not go over well with some of the president’s aides and allies because he “makes mockery” of the effort to actually pursue what they consider to be legitimate issues around voting, these people said.

I hate to tell you, but Rudy9/11 is exactly what these issues deserve. Let’s enjoy this flashback involving the man who will be president on January 20:

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