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Is Trump inspired by Rudy Giuliani? He claimed election was 'stolen' after losing NYC mayoral race in 1989

'After the loss to Dinkins, he says that the election was stolen from him because a lot of Blacks and Puerto Ricans voted illegally in the outer bureaus'
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

We all know that President Donald Trump has not only refused to concede the 2020 presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden; he has also continued to allege that the race was "rigged" and there was widespread voter fraud — none of the two has been proven yet. However, what we might not remember is that the president might have lifted the strategy straight out of his lawyer and spokesperson Rudy Giuliani's playbook back when the latter lost the New York mayoral election to the first Black mayor of the city, David Dinkins, in 1989.

The last episode of the CNBC docuseries, 'Empires of New York' delves into the 1980s when Giulini, then a reputed prosecutor, could sense that there was a shift in the atmosphere of New York City and people were ready to see a change in leadership. Crimes were at an all-time high and a sense of racial injustice was prevalent at the time. Two candidates who emerged as frontrunners of the mayoral race at the time — to take over from ex-mayor Ed Koch — were Giuliani and Dinkins. While Dinkins ran on the promise of racial harmony, Giuliani continued to attack his opponent's character and vowed to be tough on crime and punishment. 

George Arzt, former press secretary for Koch said in the episode, "David Dinkins' message of racial harmony was the key to that race. It wasn't time for a prosecutor. That was a time for harmony." 

Former New York City Mayors David Dinkins, Ed Koch and Rudolph Giuliani (Getty Images)

Giuliani lost the race to Dinkins — an outcome that he refused to accept in the days following his concession speech. Jonathan Mahler, author of 'Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning' said, "After the loss to Dinkins, he says that the election was stolen from him because a lot of Blacks and Puerto Ricans voted illegally in the outer bureaus. There was no evidence but one of the defining characteristics of Rudy Giuliani is vindictiveness, is a desire to avenge any kind of defeat and you can see that in 1989."

Giuliani brought up the topic of his 47,000-vote loss to Dinkins in 2016, during a CNN interview, a month before the election was supposed to take place. “When I ran for mayor of New York City the first time, some people voted eight and 10 times. And the second time, I had — I had firefighters and police officers outside checking on the buses, so we take down the number of the bus. The bus had voted 10 times. And then we wouldn't let the bus vote again,’’ Giuliani told host Jake Tapper. He then insisted that because of his own campaign’s vigilance in 1993, he was able to reduce the cheating to just 25,000 votes that year, helping him defeat the incumbent mayor. “Dead people generally vote for Democrats, rather than Republicans,’’ Giuliani added.

After Giuliani was put in charge of spearheading the Trump campaign's failing legal efforts to overturn the results of the November 3 presidential election, the former NYC mayor was seen imploring Pennsylvania lawmakers last month to “trust his gut feeling that all 682,770 mail-in ballots cast in the state’s Democrat-heavy Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties are fraudulent" in his effort to disqualify millions of ballots based on evidence-free voter fraud claims. “I know crooks really well,” he said at the time. “You give them an inch and they take a mile, and you give them a mile and they take your whole country.”

Rudy Giuliani points to a map as he speaks to the press about various lawsuits (Getty Images)

Regardless of his efforts, the Electoral College voted to cement Biden's election win earlier this month. Even after that, the president has continued to tout claims of a "rigged" and "stolen" election, much like his lawyer did back in the 1980s.

Trump's legal team, which has filed multiple lawsuits in swing states over alleged election fraud, has been facing consistent defeat in courts. The US Supreme Court, on December 11, also rejected a lawsuit filed by Texas, challenging Biden's win in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. The failed lawsuit, which was being claimed as "the big one" by the Trump Team, was the latest blow in a string of defeats for the Trump campaign. Shortly after the Supreme Court's decision, thousands of Trump supporters took to the streets in Washington D.C. in their latest "Stop the Steal" demonstration.

During his Fox News interview, when Trump was asked what would happen if he does not concede by Biden's inauguration, January 20, the president claimed that then Americans would have an "illegitimate" president. Trump said: "I worry about the country having an illegitimate president. That's what I worry about. A president that lost and lost badly. This wasn't like a close election. You look at Georgia. We won Georgia big. We won Pennsylvania big. We won Wisconsin big. We won it big."