Melania Trump, the first lady, let it be known that Mr. Giuliani has no idea how she feels about Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress who goes by the name Stormy Daniels and says she had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, while Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, made clear that Mr. Giuliani has nothing to do with North Korea policy. Their pushback came in response to the latest in a series of seemingly off-script moments by Mr. Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has joined the legal team representing Mr. Trump in the special counsel’s investigations into his campaign and associates.
.. Mr. Giuliani has been something of a loose cannon, making public comments that surprised other advisers, were later contradicted or touched on matters beyond his ostensible mandate.
.. Even as she rejected Mr. Giuliani as a spokesman for her feelings, Mrs. Trump did nothing to affirm that she did accept her husband’s explanation of what happened with Ms. Clifford... As for Mr. Pompeo, he looked pained when asked at a White House press briefing on Thursday about Mr. Giuliani’s foray into North Korea diplomacy... “Kim Jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in,” Mr. Giuliani said... Mr. Pompeo, who has met twice with Mr. Kim and led Mr. Trump’s efforts to set up a meeting to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program, made clear that he did not find Mr. Giuliani’s intervention helpful.
“I know Rudy,” he told reporters at the White House after a meeting between Mr. Trump and Japan’s prime minister. “Rudy doesn’t speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation and this set of issues.”
.. Mr. Giuliani suggested that the Palestinians should, like Mr. Kim, get down on their knees and beg. “That’s what needs to happen with the Palestinian Authority,” he said. “They have to be seeking peace. You’ve got to change the dynamic and put the pressure on them.”
.. The former mayor told Israeli reporters that he had seen Mr. Kushner’s secret peace plan and that it made “all the sense in the world.”
In 2018, party strategists fret, they’ll face a tough electoral landscape—and a bumper crop of fringe candidates... “What’s the lesson here?” one GOP consultant asked me on the eve of the Alabama election, on condition of anonymity so as to speak with candor. “Don’t entrust our nominations to loose cannons? We’ve been fighting this battle since 2010 and no one learns anything from it. Did we not learn that from Christine O’Donnell? Did we not learn that from Sharron Angle?”.. the dynamics that made it possible for Moore to win the Republican primary in Alabama are unlikely to change by 2018—and the consequences of the GOP nominating a slate of toxic standard-bearers could reverberate well beyond the midterms.