Trump lawyer Giuliani admits he asked Ukraine about Biden after denial
Published 2:55 PM EDT Sep 20, 2019
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani contradicted himself Thursday while discussing reports of a whistleblower complaint involving the president.
In a tense interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Giuliani railed against the media for its framing of the issue and called Cuomo a “sellout.”
The Washington Post on Wednesday broke the news that, according to anonymous sources, a whistleblower complaint issued by a member of the intelligence community concerned Trump’s conduct when speaking to a foreign leader.
The complaint was filed on Aug. 12 and was made to the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson. It alleged that Trump made an improper “promise.”
On Thursday The Post reported that the complaint centered around Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had spoken with Trump weeks before the complaint was filed. Zelensky was elected in May.
More: Donald Trump denies whistleblower complaint about improper promise to foreign leader
Trump refuted the claims, calling it “Another Fake News story.”
House Democrats had been investigating whether the Trump campaign has tried to coerce Ukraine to help Trump’s re-election campaign.
Earlier this month, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and two other Democratic House committee chairs asked the administration for a transcript of the Trump-Zelensky call. They reference news reports that Trump or his allies are urging Ukraine to investigate the business dealings of Biden’s son Hunter.
On CNN, Giuliani repeated the claim that Biden had pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was going after a company for which Hunter Biden was on the board. The Post has reported “no evidence” Biden’s efforts were intended to help his .
When Cuomo asked whether Giuliani had asked Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden, Giuliani originally denied it.
“No, actually I didn’t,” Giuliani said. “I asked Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.”
When pressed again, Giuliani changed course, according to the CNN video.
“The only thing I asked about Joe Biden” was about how the prosecutor was dismissed.
“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden,” Cuomo said.
“Of course I did,” Giuliani replied.
“You just said you didn’t!” Cuomo fired back.
When asked on Friday whether he discussed Biden in a conversation with Ukraine’s leader, Trump said “it doesn’t matter what I discussed,” adding that “someone ought to look into Joe Biden.”
Contributing: David Jackson and Kevin Johnson