President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied directing his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to go to Ukraine to look for dirt on his political rivals, in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
“No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior, he is a warrior,” Trump told O’Reilly in an interview streamed on the internet on Tuesday.
Giuliani has stated publicly that he conducted an investigation “concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption” on Trump’s behalf.
The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 6, 2019
With all the Fake News let me make it clear that everything I did was to discover evidence to defend my client against false charges.Dems would be horrified by the attacks on me, if my client was a terrorist.But they don’t believe @realDonaldTrump has rights. Justice will prevail
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) October 24, 2019
Joe’s wide range of corruption included obstructing an investigation of Dem 2016 election interference. I needed that, as an attorney, for evidence to defend my client. Not to affect an election that was 2 years away. Between the two, I have a singular obligation to my client.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) October 1, 2019
“What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?” O’Reilly asked the president in the interview.
“Well, you have to ask that to Rudy,” Trump responded, “I don’t even know. I know he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he cancelled a trip, but, you know, Rudy has other clients other than me.”
“You didn’t direct him to go there on your behalf?” O’Reilly asked.
“No,” Trump responded.
LISTEN: President Trump is now distancing himself more than ever from lawyer Rudy Giuliani, claiming he did not direct Giuliani to act on his behalf in Ukraine in a new interview with Bill O'Reilly. pic.twitter.com/6JaP9oOLMI
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) November 26, 2019
Giuliani is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors related to his activities in Ukraine.
Trump’s effort to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations that could be damaging to his political rivals, including former vice-president Joe Biden, is the subject of the House impeachment inquiry.
According to the White House’s own summary transcript of Trump’s now infamous July 25 call with Zelensky, Trump urged Zelensky to follow up with his Attorney General Bill Barr, as well as with Giuliani.
“Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man,” Trump told Zelenksy on the call. “He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General.”
“Rudy very much knows what’s happening, and he is a very capable guy,” Trump told Zelensky, after asking him to investigate a widely debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election.
“If you could speak to him that would be great,” he said.