The president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani gave another freewheeling interview. In it, he continued to promote debunked conspiracy theories and appeared, once again, to provide an admission of culpability in his involvement in the Ukraine scandal that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Giuliani, who is currently under federal criminal investigation for a long list of possible crimes, defended his association with indicted Ukrainian-American businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
“They look like Miami people. I know a lot of Miami people that look like that that are perfectly legitimate and act like them,” Giuliani told New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi over Bloody Marys. “Neither one of them have ever been convicted of a crime. Neither one. And generally that’s my cutoff point, because if you do it based on allegations and claims and — you’re not gonna work with anybody […] Particularly in business.”
The former New York City mayor also addressed: his role in the Trump administration’s alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch an investigation into the Biden family by withholding military aid; his suspiciously timed phone calls to the White House, which were made public in the House Intel Committee’s impeachment report.
“Those calls — I can tell you what they don’t have to do with: They don’t have to do with military aid. I never discussed military aid with them. Never discussed military aid with anyone until it first appeared in the New York Times of late August of 2019. I had no idea we were withholding it, if we were,” Giuliani said.
He also told Nuzzi he didn’t think the withholding military aid intended to assist Ukraine in combatting Russian military aggression was a “big deal,” saying it was just “typical Trump; he withholds aid till the last minute until he makes them beg for it.”
“Another priceless admission,” Never Trump attorney George Conway, husband to White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, said of Giuliani’s comments.
Another priceless admission:
“[Giuliani] didn’t think it [withholding the Ukraine security assistance] was such a big deal once he read about it, he said, because it was ‘typical Trump; he withholds aid till the last minute until he makes them beg for it.’” https://t.co/NpTx0XfQjP
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) December 23, 2019
Regarding the ouster of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch — another scandal that has placed Giuliani under the microscope — Giuliani said he was not motivated by the prospect of replacing the diplomat with someone more advantageous to his business interests.
“[Giuliani] said former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom he calls Santa Maria Yovanovitch, is ‘controlled’ by George Soros,” Nuzzi wrote.
“[Soros] put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents,” Giuliani continued, insisting it wasn’t crazy despite former National Security Council official Fiona Hill testifying that the theory was a prime example of Vladimir Putin-backed disinformation.
Giuliani claims former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is “controlled” by George Soros and that Soros is "employing the FBI agents.”
Has Rudy Giuliani lost his mind? https://t.co/Y2j2pJm90v
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 23, 2019
CNN analyst and former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti remarked that the former NYC mayor may have “lost his mind.”
Mariotti’s colleague, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, agreed that Giuliani had given a crazy interview, and one that served as a reminder of just how responsible he is for putting President Trump on the fast track to impeachment.
“This is incredible,” Honig said of the interview. “One moment is crazier than the next. A reminder that the two people most responsible for the impeachment of Donald Trump are (1) Donald Trump and (2) Rudy Giuliani.”
This is incredible. One moment is crazier than the next. A reminder that the two people most responsible for the impeachment of Donald Trump are (1) Donald Trump and (2) Rudy Giuliani. https://t.co/J8Q6H5KeoY
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) December 23, 2019
A former Trump administration official recently blamed Giuliani for “putting this shit” in Trump’s head.
“[President Trump] trusts Rudy, and Rudy just kept putting this shit in his head,” the person told the Wall Street Journal.
[image via CNN screengrab]