Rudy Giuliani: who is Trump’s loyal supporter – and what happened at Four Seasons Total Landscaping

Giuliani was praised for leadership after 9/11 terror attacks and received a knighthood from the Queen – in recent years he has emerged as one of Trump’s closest allies

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 2:48 pm
Updated Monday, 9th November 2020, 3:18 pm
Rudy Giuliani reportedly touched his genitals inappropriately during a scene in the new Borat movie (Getty Images)

Rudy Giuliani has been widely ridiculed after he held a press conference at a landscaping firm on behalf of the president. The firm, named Four Seasons Total Landscaping was situated next to an adult book store and a crematorium, with many suggesting the Trump camapign may have intended to book Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel.

The incident came weeks after the personal attorney of the outgoing US president denied misconduct following the release of embarrassing footage in the latest Sacha Baron Cohen project.

In Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Giuliani, 76, can apparently be seen reaching down his trousers and touching his genitals during a secretly recorded scene with an actress who plays the titular character’s daughter.

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What happened in Philadelphia?

In a since-deleted tweet, Mr Trump had said there would be a “big press conference” at the “Four Seasons” on Saturday morning local time.

Trump soon altered his statement, revealing that the press conference venue was not a Four Seasons hotel, but Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a suburban business between a crematorium and an adult book store on the outer edges of the city.

“Big press conference today in Philadelphia at Four Seasons Total Landscaping – 11.30am!” the president tweeted at 9.45am.

The hotel itself tweeted: “To clarify, President Trump’s press conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia.

“It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping — no relation with the hotel.”

Four Seasons Total Landscaping, on State Road, Philadelphia, is situated next to Fantasy Island Adult Books and Delaware Valley Cremation Centre.

In a new post, Mr Trump himself later confirmed the conference would be held at the landscaping centre, but ultimately it was his lawyer Rudy Giuliani who spoke to reporters at the scene rather than the US president.

The statement from Mr Giuliani came after it was announced that Joe Biden was projected to win the US election and reiterated Mr Trump’s calls for legal proceedings against supposed election fraud.

What was Giuliani filmed doing in the new Borat film?

Giuliani had been taking part in an interview with Borat’s daughter, played by Bulgarian actress, Maria Bakalova in the new Sacha Baron Cohen film.

The pair had been discussing the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic when Bakalova invited Giuliani to her hotel suite for a drink.

Giuliani reportedly accepted the offer, visiting the suite rigged with video cameras, sitting on Bakalova’s bed, allowing her to move his microphone before fiddling with his untucked shirt and appearing to reach down his trousers.

At this stage they are interrupted by Borat, played by Baron Cohen, who screams “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

Mr Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing, tweeting "I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment”.

He added: "At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar."

New York Mayor, 9/11 and knighthood

One of Mr Trump’s fiercest allies, Rudy Giuliani has courted controversy in recent years for his often bizarre behaviour.

Giuliani hasn’t always been a divisive figure, however, and was once known as ‘America’s Mayor’ for his leadership in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on New York City while he was a city leader.

Prior to his election as mayor, Giuliani had carved out a career as a respected attorney, practicing privately from 1977 to 1981 before joining the Justice Department as associate attorney general in 1981, before being appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York two years later.

After a failed run in 1989, Giuliani was elected as mayor of New York City in 1994 – the first Republican candidate in two decades.

During his tenure he reformed the city’s finances and encouraged a tough stance on crime. His second term was plagued with accusations of racism and supporting police brutality.

Giuliani was in charge when New York City became the site of the deadliest terror attack in US history, the September 11 attacks.

With the United States under attack Giuliani presented a calm and strong figure, condemning the attacks, protecting the Muslim community, and providing honest and transparent updates of the unfolding situation.

For his steady-handed leadership he was named Time Person of the Year in 2001.

He also received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his role in the response to the September 11 attacks.

Recent political career and controversies

Rudy Giuliani would run for the Republican candidacy ahead of the 2008 US election, ultimately losing out to John McCain.

Eight years later he was one of the most prominent supporters of Donald Trump’s campaign.

His loyalty was rewarded when he took on the role of unofficial adviser on cybersecurity following Mr Trump’s election.

He joined the president’s legal team in 2018 while a special counsel investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In September 2019, Giuliani came under intense scrutiny after a whistleblower alleged that he had engaged in efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden.

As pressure intensified on Giuliani and the president, the former took part in an interview with CNN in which he denied any wrongdoing, saying: "no, actually I didn't," before saying, "of course I did."

Mr Trump was impeached later that year, but was ultimately acquitted in February 2020.