For better or for worse, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and President Donald Trump are closely connected now as lawyer and client. Their relationship didn't begin there, though, so it's worthwhile to look at how Rudy Giuliani knows Trump. According to the Washington Post, the answer lies in the upper echelons of New York City society, in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Post described how the two of them circled each other as two of the cities biggest names, while Trump was solidifying himself in the world of real estate development and while Giuliani was working himself to the very top of New York City politics. The Post's sources, however, did not believe that the two men were friends at that point. According to City & State New York, Trump ran Giuliani's first mayoral campaign fundraiser in 1989 and also donated to him — while also donating to Giuliani's opponent, who ended up winning. After that defeat, Trump didn't donate in Giuliani's next race — but he did in 1994, the year after Giuliani won his first mayoral race.
In the years that followed, the two became closer, as evidenced by their political support for each other when Giuliani was thinking about a run for Senate in 2000, and when Trump was attempting to run for president on the Reform Party ticket, as The Hill reported.
2001, of course, was a major turning point for the U.S., but also for Giuliani personally, as he became what ABC News and many others have referred to as "America's Mayor" because of how he handled the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He would later use that platform to attempt to spring to higher political roles — including a run for president in 2008, which didn't last for long, as the Guardian reported at the time. City & State New York wrote that he attempted runs at New York governor in 2010 and president again in 2012, neither of which amounted to anything.
Giuliani then pushed himself back into political prominence in 2016 not by launching a run himself, but instead by endorsing his old New York acquaintance Donald Trump in the New York Republican primary, ABC News reported. According to the Washington Post, Giuliani had initially been critical of Trump's comments about Muslims before that, including his proposed Muslim ban and his false claim that "thousands and thousands" of Muslims had cheered on the terror attacks from New Jersey on September 11th. However, he soon joined Trump in making false claims about 9/11.
At a campaign event in 2016, The Hill reported that Giuliani said at a Trump rally that Hillary Clinton hadn't been in New York on 9/11 and that she had lied about it. Giuliani later had to apologize for his statement, Business Insider reported, because Clinton had never made that claim, and multitudes of social media users had posted photos of the two of them walking together near Ground Zero on September 12th, 2001.
He had already cemented himself as a prominent Trump supporter, though, and when Trump won, Giuliani's name was repeatedly mentioned as a potential Secretary of State — although the Washington Post reports that he took himself out of the running in mid-December of 2016.
There's no telling what the pair's relationship might look like going forward, though, as Politico has reported that Giuliani's statement on live television about Trump being aware of the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels has forced Trump to backtrack on his legal strategy. The Trump team certainly hasn't taken Giuliani out of the news circuit, though, so maybe this was all part of the plan. Either way, the two certainly have a long relationship to fall back on.