A ‘definitely intoxicated’ Giuliani urged Trump to push fraud claims on election night, aide says

Rudolph Giuliani onscreen during a House hearing
Rudolph W. Giuliani appears onscreen during Monday’s hearing by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

An allegedly intoxicated Rudolph W. Giuliani was one of the few presidential advisors telling former President Trump on election night 2020 that the election was stolen and that he should declare victory, according to testimony from another key campaign advisor shown Monday at a hearing held by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

In video testimony released Monday, former Trump aide Jason Miller testified that Giuliani spoke to the president several times on the evening of the election and was the only one in the Trump campaign circle advocating for a victory declaration before the night ended.

“Effectively, Mayor Giuliani was saying, ‘We won it. They’re stealing it from us. Where did all the votes come from? We need to go say that we won.’ And essentially that anyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak,” Miller testified, adding that Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” that evening.


Trump agreed with Giuliani’s assertions.

Bill Stepien, Trump’s former campaign manager, said in video testimony that he advised the president to say that votes were still being counted and it was too early to call the race.

“The president disagreed with that,” Stepien said. “I don’t recall the particular words. He thought that I was wrong. He told me so, and, you know, that they were going to go, and he was going to go in a different direction.”

Miller similarly testified that he disagreed with Giuliani’s strategy.

But by 3 a.m. that night, Trump said in public remarks that a “fraud on the American public” was underway.

“We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said without citing evidence.

Trump was in the White House on the evening of the election along with senior aides including Stepien, Miller, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and his adult children, according to witness testimony.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) argued that the evidence demonstrated Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election.


“We’ve had an election,” Thompson said. “Mr. Trump lost, but he refused to accept the results of the democratic process.”