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Rudy Giuliani tells ‘locker room talk’ 9/11 sex joke at inauguration lunch

Too soon?


Samantha Grasso

Internet Culture

Published Jan 20, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 4:16 am CDT

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, has jokes, folks. Don’t worry if you missed them—he’ll be here all week (and for the next four years, for that matter).

Giuliani entertained attendees at a celebratory inaugural luncheon, organized by the Republican National Lawyers Association, with a 9/11-themed sex joke. 

In the recording of the luncheon obtained by the Intercept, Giuliani begins speaking after a round of applause, and tags the joke to a story told by a previous speaker about former President George W. Bush.

“In the same car with me was my fire commissioner, Tom Van Essen, and Tom had lost what turned out to be 343 firefighters,” Giuliani said, setting the anecdote. 

“And President Bush recognized him from seeing him on television over the prior two days. And he leaned over to Tom, grabbed his arm, and said to him, ‘Tom, I’m so sorry. How are things going?’ Tom looked at him and said, ‘Much better now. My wife came home last night and I got lucky,'” Giuliani jested.

The crowd of more than 200 Republican lawyers laughed at the punchline, and the former mayor continued his story.

“That’s locker room talk,” Giuliani emphasized. “President Bush remembered that so well that when he saw Tom three weeks later at a firehouse dinner, he came up to him and said, ‘Tom, are you still getting lucky?’ And Tom said, ‘No, it’s worn out.'”

In under two minutes, Giuliani managed to drop two 9/11 sex jokes and one sexual assault joke. Giuliani’s anecdote regarding another man’s wife might have just been in poor taste, but his reference to “locker room talk” comes from the 2016 presidential campaign trail. 

After the Washington Post released a 2005 recording in October, in which President-elect Donald Trump bragged about how his fame allowed him to “grab” women “by the pussy” without their consent, Trump, for whom Giuliani is a close adviser, dismissed his comments as “locker room talk.” 

After the release of the tapes, more than a dozen women came forward with other allegations of the then-Republican presidential candidate inappropriately kissing, touching, or looking at them, all of which Trump denied.

According to the Intercept, efforts to reach Giuliani and Van Essen by phone late Thursday were unsuccessful. 

H/T the Intercept

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*First Published: Jan 20, 2017, 9:28 am CST