On Oct. 16, Rudy Giuliani made a phone call to Rich Schapiro.
Giuliani reaching out wasn’t a big deal on its face. He and Schapiro had spoken earlier about a story and ties to a fringe Iranian opposition group.
But this call, as Schapiro reported, wasn’t a typical case of a source following up with a reporter.
The call came in at 11:07 p.m. and went to voicemail; Rich Schapiro was asleep.
The next morning, what Giuliani said would be discovered by Schapiro. Giuliani wasn’t leaving a voicemail or he wasn’t even speaking to the reporter, but his words are recorded forever now, nonetheless.
Giuliani was speaking to someone in the room — it was what is known as a butt-dial.
“You know,” Giuliani says at the beginning, “Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ‘cause he didn’t do any due diligence.”
It wasn’t clear 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.
But then Giuliani says something that’s crystal clear.
“Let’s get back to business.”
He goes on.
“I gotta get you to get on Bahrain.”
Giuliani is reported to be well-connected in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Last December, he visited the Persian Gulf nation and had a one-on-one meeting with King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa in the royal palace. The headline of the state-run Bahrain News Agency blurb about the visit referred to Giuliani’s arrival as a “high level visit.”
Giuliani runs a security consulting company, but it’s not clear why he would have a meeting with Bahrain’s king. Was he acting in his capacity as a consultant? As Trump’s lawyer? Or as an international fixer running a shadow foreign policy for the president?
But wait, there’s more …
As reported by NBC and Mediate:
“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. Nine seconds pass. No word is spoken. Then Giuliani chimes in again.
“We need a few hundred thousand,” he says.
It’s unclear what the two men were talking about. But 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 LLP, as well as a registered agent of the Turkish government.
Giuliani himself was employed by Greenberg Traurig until about May 2018.
Mangas’s name appears in court documents related to the case ofReza Zarrab, a Turkish gold trader charged in the U.S. with laundering Iranian money in a scheme to evade American sanctions.
With each passing day, it becomes more obvious that the man who used to be known as “America’s mayor” is now nothing but a memory and a person cow-towing to Trump and chasing conspiracy theories to try to smear his boss’s rivals has taken his place.