Sacha Baron Cohen on Rudy Giuliani calling 'Borat' clip 'fabrication': 'He did what he did'

Brian Truitt, USA TODAY
·5 min read

Rudy Giuliani was pranked into a compromising situation by Sacha Baron Cohen's journalist character Borat for a new movie. Now Baron Cohen is responding to Giuliani's claims that the video was "a complete fabrication."

In an interview with Good Morning America Friday, the "Borat" star gave his perspective on the actions of President Trump's personal lawyer and former New York City mayor.

"I would say that if the president's lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior, then heaven knows what he's done with other female journalists in hotel rooms," Baron Cohen said. "I just urge everyone to watch the movie, it is what it is. He did what he did."

He continued, "Make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us."

During a live online Q&A Thursday night, Borat himself chimed into the controversy, "defending" Giuliani with a Twitter video.

"Jagshemash. I here to defend America’s mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. What was an innocent sex-time encounter between a consenting man and my 15-year-old daughter has been turned into something disgusting via fake news media," Borat says in the Twitter video, making a motion that his nose is growing a la a lying Pinocchio's. "I warn you. Anyone else try this and Rudolph will not hesitate to reach into his legal briefs and whip out his subpoenas."

Related: Joe Biden defends son Hunter, amid Giuliani allegations

Giuliani has come under fire for a questionable scene caught on camera for Baron Cohen's sequel, "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (streaming now on Amazon Prime).

'This is a hit job, I assure you': Rudy Giuliani responds to eyebrow-raising situation in 'Borat 2'

Review: Sacha Baron Cohen's silly, scattershot 'Borat 2' takes aim at Trump, COVID

In the movie, Giuliani is shown sitting for an interview in a New York hotel site with Borat's teenage daughter, Tutar (played by 24-year-old actress Maria Bakalova), and the two go into the bedroom for a post-talk drink. After Bakalova untucks Giuliani's shirt to get his mic, he lays down on the bed and puts his hand in his pants. Soon after, Baron Cohen (as Borat) bursts in wearing women's lingerie on his briefs to reveal the prank. "She's 15, she's too old for you," he tells Giuliani.

On Wednesday, when the scene (filmed in July during the pandemic) made headlines after reviews of the new film dropped and kerfuffle erupted on social media, Giuliani responded on Twitter calling it "a complete fabrication." And on his radio show, Giuliani blamed the "hit job" on him obtaining a hard drive from a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, that allegedly documents business dealings in Ukraine.

President Donald Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani
President Donald Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani

According to Giuliani, as the electronic equipment was being taken off in the "Borat" scene, "some of it was in the back and my shirt came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on," he explained. "I leaned back, and I tucked my shirt in, and at that point, they have this picture they take, which looks doctored, but in any event, I’m tucking my shirt in. I assure you that’s all I was doing.”

The movie has arrived less than two weeks before the presidential election on Nov. 3.

In character as Borat for his Q&A with fans, Baron Cohen also referenced the hubbub and told the audience, "I hope you enjoyed it more than Rudolph Giuliani did." Borat told a story about how he got invited to a hotel by a Hollywood Boulevard Iron Man and was met with a "golden shower," and when a fan advised him that he probably shouldn't go into strangers' hotel rooms, Borat cracked, "This is what they told Rudy."

Borat took several shots at Trump. In regards to the Giuliani incident, Baron Cohen said, "Premier Trump, he had done exactly the same thing as Rudolph himself. In fact there are the urine stains to prove it." He added that "we like McDonald Trump very much in Kazakhstan. He's very strong and very fat. He have so much health, he also very generous, especially to ladies. he could get a prostitute for $50 but instead, he so generous he play $130,000," referencing Trump's payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Borat also "praised" Trump as a "benevolent leader" during COVID — "He give every American a check for $1,000 to help pay for food, energy and funerals" — and how he was good on coronavirus safety, "especially social distancing. This is why he have not been within two mile of his wife during the last four years. And apparently now they both have COVID. She say best she stay isolated from him till the end of the marriage."

Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) dresses up as Donald Trump and interrupts Mike Pence's CPAC speech in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm."
Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) dresses up as Donald Trump and interrupts Mike Pence's CPAC speech in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm."

A fan asked Borat about Black Lives Matter, and Borat mentioned that his first wife was Black and she moved to America because Black people were treated like "royalty, especially by the police. The cops here are so keen to make friends with Black people that they stop their cars whenever they can to have a long chitty-chat and they keep the names and the addresses of the Black peoples so they can keep in touch. They also give them gifts of shiny bracelets and sometimes the police even give them very big tight hugs around the neck."

As for Trump's presidential competition, Borat quipped that he wasn't a "fanny" of Biden. "He is a criminal mastermind and dangerous conspiracy theorist who believes in round-earther theories and also believes crazy things like science and mask-wearing. Be careful, do not vote for him."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Borat 2: Sacha Baron Cohen responds to Rudy Giuliani's defense of clip