According to a deep dive by Jonathan Swan for Axios, right after the election former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani became a daily visitor to Donald Trump's campaign headquarters where he spouted tales of "deep state" interference in the presidential vote counts that eventually drove staffers from the room.
The report notes that Giuliani -- who has now been accused of accepting cash from wealthy felons to lobby the president for pardons -- was accompanied by attorney Sidney Powell for meetings that included some of the president's most trusted advisers.
As Swan reports, "On the day after the election, Nov. 4, top staff including Stepien, Clark, Miller, general counsel Matthew Morgan and Jared Kushner had gathered at Trump campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. They believed this would be a serious search for a path to 270 electoral votes through credible legal challenges. Then Giuliani, Sidney Powell and a swelling conspiracy crew marched into the room — literally."
What followed was Giuliani and Powell expounding at length about how they believed the "deep state" was behind the president's loss to former Vice President Joe Biden, which led staffers to start filtering out of the room after hearing some of their theories for days in a row.
"A bizarre routine set in," Swan explained. "These meetings would begin with official staff raising plausible legal strategies. Then Giuliani and Powell, a lawyer with a history of floating 'deep state' conspiracy theories, would take over, spewing wild allegations of a centralized plot by Democrats — and in Powell's view, international communists — to steal the election. Bewildered campaign aides would look around the table at one another, silently asking what the hell was going on. One would invariably shuffle out of the room, followed by another a few minutes later. Then another. Then another. The professional staff would reconvene in Stepien's office, about 20 yards down the hall."
The report goes on to note that the former New York City mayor would notice that the room had emptied and was forced to go see where everybody was,
"Eventually, Giuliani would realize that he and his crew were alone in the conference room. He'd walk down the hall and knock on the glass outside Stepien's office, where about eight aides had squeezed onto a pair of couches. 'You guys, where did you go?' Giuliani would say. "This is serious!'" the Axios report states.
According to Swan, for days after the election some of Trump's top advisers, "spent many hours trying to stop the former New York mayor from running to the press or the president and muddling the campaign's legal approach."
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