On Tuesday, President Trump denied directing his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to go to Ukraine on his behalf in the midst of scrutiny as part of the ongoing House impeachment inquiry.
“No, I didn’t direct him. But he is a warrior,” Trump told former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview.
The president’s comments appeared to contradict a frequent explanation from Giuliani. He has tweeted numerous times that he was operating in Ukraine to defend his client. Trump urged O’Reilly to “ask that to Rudy” when the former Fox News host inquired what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine.
“I know he was going to go to Ukraine, and I think he canceled a trip,” Trump told O’Reilly. “But you know, Rudy has other clients other than me.”
Giuliani has tweeted multiple times in the past few months that his activities in Ukraine, which included seeking damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, were meant to defend his “client.” The former New York City mayor’s dealings in the country are now apparently the focus of a probe in the Southern District of New York.
“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,” Giuliani tweeted earlier this month.
Giuliani tweeted in October that “everything I did was to discover evidence to defend my client against false charges” and that “justice will prevail.”
The president had previously defended Giuliani when asked about his relationship with his embattled personal attorney. He hailed Giuliani as a crime fighter and a great mayor on Monday.
Giuliani’s interactions with Ukrainian businessmen are reportedly the subject of a broadening investigation.
Multiple witnesses testified in the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry that Giuliani was part of an “irregular channel” to carry out Trump’s foreign policy in Ukraine. Current and former State Department officials also said Giuliani was orchestrating a smear campaign to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.