“The call appeared to be one of the most unfortunate of faux pas: what is known, in casual parlance, as a butt dial,” Schapiro wrote in an NBC News account of the Oct. 16 voice message.
It wasn’t even the first. Just a few weeks earlier, Schapiro wrote, Giuliani had left him a voice mail in which he could be heard making corruption claims about former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The initial butt dial came in at 3:37 p.m. on Sept. 28. A day earlier, Schapiro had spoken to Giuliani for a story that quoted several of the attorney’s former Justice Department colleagues saying they thought he had broken the law in pressing for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
In the message, Giuliani repeated familiar, unfounded allegations against the Bidens, Schapiro wrote. He claimed that Joe Biden had been “trading in on his public office” and that his son had done the same. He said the former vice president had halted the investigation of a Ukrainian gas company because Hunter Biden was on its board.
Giuliani also said he was being attacked because of his public accusations against the Biden family.
“I expected it would happen,” he said, according to NBC. “The minute you touch on one of the protected people, they go crazy. They come after you.”
Eighteen days later, Schapiro got the second apparently accidental Giuliani voice mail. The call was made at 11:07 p.m. on Oct. 16, hours after Schapiro and Giuliani spoke for an article about Giuliani’s connection to an Iranian dissident group.
Schapiro was asleep when he missed Giuliani’s call. Listening to it the next morning, the reporter struggled to follow what Giuliani was talking about.
“You know, Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case 'cause he didn’t do any due diligence,” he said at the start. Then, he said, “I gotta get you to get on Bahrain.”
Shortly after that, Giuliani asked if “Robert” was around. A man replied that he was in Turkey. Giuliani responded, “The problem is we need some money” and then added, “We need a few hundred thousand.”
The rest of the call was difficult to make out, Schapiro wrote. He said during an appearance on MSNBC that he had “no idea what he’s talking about with regard to Charles and Bahrain.”
“The recording is muffled so it’s difficult to discern exactly what they’re talking about,” Schapiro said on MSNBC. “But it’s certainly intriguing, and I can tell you I did not go to sleep that night expecting to wake up that morning with a three-minute voice mail from Rudolph W. Giuliani.”
He reached out to Giuliani afterward, he said, but had “yet to receive an intentional or an unintentional call back.”
Giuliani has not returned calls from The Post, either, as of late — although Post reporters, too, have received the occasional butt dial from him.