Last night, Fox News host Sean Hannity interviewed Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani and to say the effect was seismic is an understatement.

Guiliani covered three overarching subjects: the Stormy Daniels affair, the possibility of Trump being questioned by Mueller, and Trump’s views on some of his inner circle.

Stormy Daniels

This topic is getting a lot of play for reasons that escape me other than people wanting to point out Trump boinked a porn star and paid her to not talk about it. I haven’t paid much attention to this for the simple reasons a) I never thought she was lying and b) I never thought Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 out of his own pocket because of his devotion to Trump, and c) when I want actual gossip I’ll go to professionals at TMZ. Of course, Trump had a fling with Daniels. Of course, he had a fling with Karen McDougal. Of course, he used hush money and non-disclosure agreements. Raise your hand if any of this shocks, amazes, or surprises you. The only real question is whether his actions were legal. If you want to defend or attack Trump’s morality/immorality feel free but if anyone has learned anything new from this I don’t think you were paying attention since 2015. This is how one of Trump’s legal team explains what happened using Trump’s Twitter account:

There are 10,000 lawyers out there this morning picking nits from Giuliani’s interview and from Trump’s follow up about Stormy Daniels. I’m not a lawyer. If you want an opinion on legality, go to them.

From a tactical standpoint, this seems like an effort to clear the Daniels story off the front pages by ripping the Band Aid off. Now that the payments have been disclosed it is a he-said/she-said over the monkey sex and the only real audience in that argument is Melania Trump.

The Mueller Questions

Giuliani opined that there was no way the president would submit to a multi hour interview. They set two to three hours as the top end and said the interview must be around a narrow series of questions concerning collusion with Russia. He said that the White House is ready for a subpoena fight should that take place. I’d surmise that this subpoena fight not only entails going to court but cutting Rosenstein off at the knees if he signs off on the subpoena.

His Inner Circle

Giuliani basically said that if he makes a move against Ivanka, that Trump will see that as a declaration of war. He said Kushner was “disposable.”

I think this interview needs to be seen as Trump deciding that his enemies will not go away of their own volition and he’s clearing the decks for a fight. He’s lining up support in Congress by supporting document demands. He undoubtedly has a plan for replacing Rosenstein and I would guess the reason for Rosenstein’s ultimate firing is going to be given as his inability to work with the House oversight, intelligence, and judiciary committees and their chairmen. The punting of Ty Cobb yesterday was a clear indicator that the White House has decided that cooperating with Mueller gets them nothing but a bloody fight and could be a political win. John Podhoretz has a tweet storm that is a must read on this theory.

This is the full Hannity interview.