Lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani began making television rounds to do damage control for his client, President Donald Trump. He ended up just doing damage instead.
Giuliani spoke with CNN’s Chris Cuomo about recent allegations that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a criminal investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, whom he says used his power as Vice President to pressure Ukraine’s government to drop an investigation into Burisma Holdings, an energy company on which Biden’s son was a board member. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly denied this and there’s no evidence that it occurred.
That didn’t stop Giuliani from planning a controversial trip to Ukraine last year in an effort to pressure an investigation on Trump’s behalf. The trip was cancelled, with Giuliani still insisting “We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation.”
Now, Trump is accused of using Ukraine-U.S. relations as a bargaining chip to give himself an advantage in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, possibly attempting to withhold a $250 million arms package allocated for the country.
Cuomo asked if Giuliani told Ukraine to investigate Biden. Giuliani said he didn’t, only to exclaim “of course I did!” when Cuomo repeated the question seconds later. An exasperated Cuomo yelled, “You just said you didn’t!”
Giuliani tried to insist that he only asked Ukraine to investigate 2016 election interference, which “tangentially involved Joe Biden in a massive bribery scam.”
The video soon went viral, and Giuliani went off on Twitter. In an effort to defend himself and his client, he appeared to accidentally admit that Trump did, in fact, pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden ahead of the 2020 election.
He later told the Washington Post that his tweet wasn’t an admission of Donald Trump using U.S.-Ukraine relations as a bargaining chip to influence the 2020 election, but that if Trump did, it would be acceptable.
Shortly after Giuliani’s CNN appearance, his former campaign staffer Rick Wilson appeared to be referring to him in a cryptic tweet.
Giuliani continues to rail against Biden on Twitter, as other users wonder just what Rudy is trying to do.
The House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Oversight, and Intelligence announced they would investigate the allegations and the possibility that they have something to do with the recent whistleblower complaint asserting Trump made unlawful promises to multiple world leaders.