Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, contradicted himself when asked whether he personally asked Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, ranted about media bias and defended Trump amid new reports about an intelligence official’s whistleblower complaint, during a chaotic and fiery CNN interview Thursday night.
Immediately after anchor Chris Cuomo introduced him and summarized the latest news out of the whistleblower story , which had only broken about an hour prior, Giuliani went into attack mode.
“I’m glad I’m on tonight because what you just said is totally erroneous,” Giuliani said. “Every single thing you just said is completely spun in the same direction you’ve been doing for two years!”
. @ChrisCuomo : “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?” @RudyGiuliani : “Of course I did”
President Trump's attorney says he had spoken with a Ukrainian official about Joe Biden's possible role in that government's dismissal of a prosecutor who investigated Biden's son. pic.twitter.com/FTaLGBV1zO
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) September 20, 2019 Giuliani spent the first half of the interview repeating the claim that Biden in 2016 pressured Ukraine to drop its top prosecutor, which at the time was also investigating a natural gas company where Biden’s son, Hunter, was on the board. World leaders, including the United States, reportedly wanted the prosecutor gone because he was ineffective at rooting out corruption. Biden threatened to withhold loan money from the country over it. There’s been no evidence found that Biden was trying to help out his son.
Giuliani then appeared to contradict himself over whether he asked Ukraine officials to specifically investigate the former vice president, who is a top-polling 2020 Democratic candidate for president.
“No, actually I didn’t. 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,” Giuliani said.
“Your never asked anything about Hunter Biden? You never asked anything about Joe Biden and the prosecutor?” Cuomo asked again.
Giuliani said the “only thing” he asked was how the prosecutor got dismissed.
“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden,” Cuomo said.
“Of course I did,” Giuliani said.
“You just said you didn’t!” Cuomo said.
Giuliani then tried to distinguish between asking Ukraine about Biden and asking about “allegations related to my client which tangentially are related to Joe Biden and a massive bribery scheme.”
As the two men verbally sparred, Giuliani said, “It’s sad to watch what happened to you. It’s sad. You’re a sellout.” To which Cuomo asked incredulously, ” I’m a sellout You are telling me that I’m the sellout?”
“You, for whom my whole lifetime stood up for one single ideal, character counts in leadership,” Cuomo said.
“I am standing up for justice,” Giuliani yelled over Cuomo. “You want to cover some ridiculous charge that I urged the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption. Well I did! And I’m proud of it!”
Later, Cuomo told Giuliani: “This President got the benefit of something you built up for decades — your credibility.”
When Cuomo directed the conversation back to Trump, Giuliani tried to discredit the whistleblower, saying without any evidence, that the person “could be a Democrat holdover trying to destroy Donald Trump.”
He offered a line of defense if Trump did offer aid to Ukraine in exchange for the country investigating Clinton and Biden, claiming it would be “perfectly appropriate.”
“The reality is the president of the United States has every right to say to another leader of a foreign country, ‘you got to straighten up before we give you a lot of money’,” Giuliani said. “It is perfectly appropriate for (Trump) to ask a foreign government to investigate this massive crime that was made by a former vice president.”
After the interview, Giuliani doubled down on that defense in a tweet.
A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job. Maybe if Obama did that the Biden Family wouldn’t have bilked millions from Ukraine and billions from China; being covered up by a Corrupt Media.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 20, 2019