Rudy Giuliani was fired from a prominent New York talk radio station Friday after its Trump-supporting owner said the former mayor-turned-media personality “crossed the line” by promoting falsehoods about Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 election.

“I was told by WABC that he crossed the line and they warned him,” John Catsimatidis, the billionaire energy and supermarket magnate who owns the station, told The Washington Post in a brief telephone interview. “He was a great mayor. It’s a shame,” Catsimatidis added. Later, when asked by text message whether Giuliani may return to the station’s airwaves at some point, Catsimatidis replied, “No.”

Giuliani Bankruptcy Hearing

Rudy Giuliani Matt Rourke/Associated Press, file

Catsimatidis earlier told the New York Times, “We’re not going to talk about fallacies of the November 2020 election,” and that Giuliani said in a pair of text messages that he wanted to keep discussing the topic on air.

Giuliani did not respond to a text message Friday seeking comment. But on X, Giuliani wrote: “John Catsimatidis and @77WABCradio fired me for refusing to comply with their overly broad directive stating I’m, ‘prohibited from engaging in conversations relating to the 2020 Presidential Election.’ ” Giuliani also called it “a clear violation of free speech.”

Asked about Trump’s own refusal to accept his 2020 election loss, Catsimatidis told The Post, “Trump can feel whatever he feels, that’s what his belief is.”

Catsimatidis briefly addressed the termination at the top of his usual 5 p.m. weekday show. “I guess the news stories are out that, one of the greatest mayors in New York’s history is no longer with WABC,” Catsimatidis told listeners. “We had differences, certain differences. And I still think he was a great mayor, and he was America’s mayor, and he’ll always be America’s mayor.”


The termination is the latest fallout for Giuliani, whose political career has been marred by personal and legal setbacks.

After serving two terms as a Republican mayor of New York, he briefly ran for president in 2008. Giuliani emerged in 2016 as one of Donald Trump’s most visible surrogates and later worked as his personal attorney. In 2018, his wife of 15 years filed for divorce, setting off a messy and very public fight. Later, friends expressed their long-running concerns about his drinking.

After Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in 2020, Giuliani was one of the people in Trump’s orbit who promoted false conspiracies that the election was illegitimate.

About a week after a mob of Trump supporters rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – temporarily delaying Congress from certifying Trump’s loss – Catsimatidis had the station issue a directive to on-air talent “to not state, suggest or imply that the election results are not valid or that the election is not over.” WABC employees were also told, “If this policy is violated, employees will be subject to immediate discipline, up to and including termination.”

Despite that warning and legal setbacks, Giuliani kept promoting the conspiracy. At times, he used his one-hour weekday afternoon show and another one-hour show on Sundays to promote this falsehood.

He has publicly pinned the blame for the loss on various entities, including a voting technology company and two election workers in Georgia. Giuliani in December 2023 was ordered to pay $148 million to the election workers he accused of mishandling ballots in the state, which Biden won by around 12,000 votes.


“I understand Rudy got sued again by the Georgia people so that brought it onto the front burner,” Catsimatidis told The Post on Friday.

In January 2021, Giuliani told WABC listeners that Trump “won that election,” and said, “You give me one hour. I will prove it to you with pictures, documents, votes and people we can call on the phone in five states.” Days later, Dominion Voting Systems sued Giuliani for $1.3 billion for defamation. Giuliani’s comments on WABC are cited dozens of times in the 107-page complaint.

“As far as this election is concerned,” Giuliani told listeners the day the lawsuit was filed, “it’s over. Biden’s the president, she’s the vice president.” Days later, he signaled to listeners that he was not giving up on his false claims. “I’m now in a way fighting for history, that we get this in our history books,” he said, adding that it should be raised as an issue for the next presidential election.

Catsimatidis said he made the decision about Giuliani just before 1 p.m. Friday, after reading a pair of messages the former mayor had sent him. Catsimatidis and the station he owns are still closely tied to Trump, who also refuses to acknowledge his 2020 loss and has declined to say he would accept the results of the 2024 election.

Catsimatidis has donated to Trump and raised money for his current bid. Giuliani’s son, Andrew, has a show on WABC, as do Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone and various other Trump-friendly media personalities such as Greg Kelly, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro.

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