While Rudy Giuliani has tried to keep a low media profile in recent weeks, it has not been easy for Trump's personal attorney, and now NBC reports that on the night of Oct. 16, Giuliani accidentally "butt-dialed" a reporter he had spoken to earlier in the evening, accidentally leaving a 3 minute voicemail during which he is heard speaking to someone else located in the same room.
According to the report, Giuliani can be heard discussing "overseas dealings" while lamenting a need for cash, although the full context of the conversation is indiscernible.
"You know," Giuliani says to an unknown person, at the start of the recording. "Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ‘cause he didn’t do any due diligence." It's unclear who Charles is, or who may have been implicated in a fraud. In fact, much of the message’s first minute is difficult to comprehend, in part because the voice of the other man in the conversation is muffled and barely intelligible.
Giuliani then says something else that’s crystal clear.
"Let's get back to business. I gotta get you to get on Bahrain." According to NBC, Giuliani has connections in Bahrain which he visited last December and had a one-on-one meeting with King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa in the royal palace. Giuliani runs a security consulting company, but it’s not clear why he would have a meeting with Bahrain’s king.
Giuliani can then be heard telling the man that he’s "got to call Robert again tomorrow. Is Robert around?” Giuliani asks.
“He’s in Turkey,” the man responds.
Giuliani replies instantly. “The problem is we need some money.”
The two men then go silent for a while then Giuliani speaks again: “We need a few hundred thousand,” he says.
While the context here, too , is unclear, the NBC report notes that Giuliani is known to have worked closely with a Robert who has ties to Turkey: his name is Robert Mangas, and he’s a lawyer at the firm Greenberg Traurig (which until May 2018 was also Rudy's employer) as well as a registered agent of the Turkish government.
Mangas’ name appears in court documents related to the case of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish gold trader charged in the United States with laundering Iranian money in a scheme to evade American sanctions. We profiled Zarrab previously in "Mysterious Turk At Center Of "Secret Gold" Trade With Iran, Vanishes From Federal Jail."
In 2017, Giuliani was brought on to assist Zarrab, when the former NYC mayor traveled to Turkey with his former law partner Michael Mukasey in hopes of striking a deal with Turkey's President Erdogan to secure the release of their jailed client. Giuliani and Mangas were both employed by Greenberg Traurig at the time. The firm and Mangas had registered with the Justice Department to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of Turkey, according to an affidavit from Mangas.
At that point, Giuliani partner can be heard responding to the "few hundred thousand" comment:
“I’d say even if Bahrain could get, I’m not sure how good [unintelligible words] with his people,” the man says.
“Yeah, okay,” Giuliani says.
“You want options? I got options,” the man says, to which Giuliani responds "Yeah, give me options."
The exchange took place at the 2:20 mark in the voicemail message. The other man does most of the talking in the remaining 40 seconds, and it’s difficult to piece together what he says.
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This was not the first time Giuliani was caught butt-dialing someone: the late-night Oct 16 call came 18 days after a mid-afternoon Giuliani butt-dial, in which Giuliani left another 3-minute voicemail to an NBC news reporter in which Trump's lawyer is heard talking to at least one other person. The conversation appears to pick up almost exactly where Giuliani’s phone call with the reporter left off, with Giuliani insisting he was the target of attacks because he was making public accusations about a powerful Democratic politician.
"I expected it would happen,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. "The minute you touch on one of the protected people, they go crazy. They come after you."
"You got the truth on your side," an unidentified man says.
"It’s very powerful," Giuliani replies, and then spends the entire three minutes railing against the Bidens.
“There’s plenty more to come out,” Giuliani says. “He did the same thing in China. And he tried to do it in Kazakhstan and in Russia.”
“It’s a sad situation,” he adds. “You know how they get? Biden has been been trading in on his public office since he was a senator.”
Shortly after, Giuliani turns to Hunter Biden. “When he became vice president, the kid decided to go around the world and say, ‘Hire me because I’m Joe Biden’s son.’ And most people wouldn’t hire him because he had a drug problem."
“His son altogether made somewhere between 5 and 8 million,” Giuliani says. “A 3 million transaction was laundered, which is illegal", Giuliani continues.
Last week, Hunter Biden - who had kept an even lower profile than Giuliani ever since the Ukraine scandal broke out - said that he will step down from the board of the Chinese investment company that he joined in October 2017. Separately, one of Hunter Biden’s early business partners was Christopher Heinz, stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry. But even Heinz objected to Hunter Biden’s decision to work for the Ukrainian gas company and ultimately cut ties with him.
The recording ends the same way it began. “They don’t want to investigate because he’s protected, so we gotta force them to do it. And the Ukraine, they’re investigating him and they blocked it twice. So what the president was [unintelligible word], ‘You can’t keep doing this. You have to investigate this.’ And they say it will affect the 2020 election.”
“No it….” Giuliani adds, but the recording cuts off before he can finish the thought.