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Rudy Giuliani slapped on back ‘over politics’ following Roe decision

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Rudy Giuliani was mingling with people at a Staten Island grocery store on Sunday when an employee approached the former New York mayor, slapped him on the back and called him a “scumbag,” according to police.

Now, that ShopRite employee, 39-year-old Staten Island resident Daniel Gill, has been arrested and charged with assault of someone 65 or older — a felony, a New York Police Department spokesman told The Washington Post. Gill, who could not be reached for comment, was in custody as of Sunday night, the spokesman said. It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

Giuliani, who was former president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, did not respond to a request for comment.

Speaking on “The Curtis Sliwa Show” after the incident, Giuliani said he was at ShopRite campaigning for his son, a Republican candidate for New York governor, when “all of a sudden I feel a shot on my back — like somebody shot me.”

“I went forward, but luckily I didn’t fall down,” Giuliani said. “Lucky, I’m a 78-year-old who’s in pretty good shape, because if I wasn’t, I’d have hit the ground and probably cracked my skull.”

Giuliani then claimed the worker referenced abortion rights, allegedly adding: “You’re going to kill women. You’re going to kill women.”

Surveillance video of the incident, published by the New York Post, shows a man in a billed cap walk up from behind Giuliani and slap him on the back. A woman immediately puts her arm around Giuliani as the man walks past the former mayor and his supporters and down another aisle.

The video has no sound, but the NYPD spokesman said Gill asked, “What’s up, scumbag?” when he approached Giuliani. The incident took place just before 3:30 p.m., and Giuliani was not seriously injured, the spokesman said.

ShopRite did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post late Sunday. In a statement to WCBS, a representative acknowledged that an incident took place between Giuliani and a store associate at a Staten Island location.

“Store security observed the incident, reacted swiftly and the police were notified,” the representative said. “We have zero tolerance for aggression toward anyone.”

In an interview with the New York Times, Giuliani said he took the employee’s remarks to be “political,” a reference to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, which protected the constitutional right to abortion. Police did not specify whether the suspect referenced abortion or the Supreme Court decision.

Throughout his political career, Giuliani has wavered on the issue of abortion rights. On his weekly radio show Sunday before the grocery store incident, Giuliani said he was “adamantly” against abortion during a discussion on the Supreme Court decision.

But as New York mayor, Giuliani was a supporter of abortion rights, even signing a proclamation celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Tampa Bay Times and CNN reported. Moreover, Giuliani donated to Planned Parenthood at least six times in the 1990s, Politico reported in 2007, when Giuliani was seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

It was during that campaign that Giuliani’s stance on the issue came under scrutiny, as the candidate said repeatedly that he personally opposed abortion but believed it was an “emotional decision that should ultimately be left up to the woman,” his spokeswoman told Politico at the time.

Amid pressure, Giuliani decided to firmly support abortion rights during the campaign, making him an outlier among his Republican opponents, the New York Times reported.

On his show Sunday, Giuliani called his prior stance “very childish and immature” and said that he has gone through a “torturous intellectual and emotional and moral situation with abortion,” now saying he is against abortions.

Even as Giuliani faces scrutiny for his unfounded claims of fraud following the 2020 presidential election results, he is using his political brand in certain enclaves of New York to help boost his son’s bid for governor.

Andrew Giuliani is test-driving his father’s legacy in New York

Andrew Giuliani, who praised the Supreme Court decision Friday, condemned the alleged assault on his father in a tweet Sunday night, adding that it was “over politics.”

“We will not be intimidated by left wing attacks,” he wrote. “As governor I will stand up for law and order so that New Yorkers feel safe again.”