Giuliani says State Department asked him to take call from Ukrainian official

Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiOusted Manhattan US Attorney Berman to testify before House next week Sunday shows preview: With coronavirus cases surging, lawmakers and health officials weigh in Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down MORE told Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE on Fox News Monday night that his recent dealings with Ukraine were initiated by the State Department.

"The State Department called me and said would I take a call from Mr. [Andriy] Yermak, who's No. 2 or three to the president-elect who is now the president," said Giuliani, one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE's personal attorneys.

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Giuliani said he then spoke with Yermak and that he then passed along the "enormously important facts" to the State Department.

When reached for comment, a State Department spokesperson said, "Mr. Giuliani is a private citizen and acts in a personal capacity as a lawyer for President Trump. He does not speak on behalf of the U.S. Government."

Giuliani's Monday night comments follow a Wall Street Journal report last week in which he said he traveled to Paris in June to meet with a Ukrainian official from the prosecutor general's office and then to Madrid in August to meet with Yermak. Both meetings were part of the Trump administration's effort to pressure the Ukrainian government to look further into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage The Memo: Trump grows weak as clock ticks down Nina Turner addresses Biden's search for a running mate MORE and his son, Hunter Biden.

The Associated Press reported Monday that President Trump ordered $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine to be frozen days before he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The phone call was the catalyst for the whistleblower complaint that reportedly said Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate the Biden family.

Trump confirmed Tuesday that he had withheld the funds from Ukraine.

Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate who is leading the field in most national polls, has called for the White House to release a transcript of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky.

“Such clear-cut corruption damages and diminishes our institutions of government by making them tools of a personal political vendetta,” Biden said in a statement.

--Updated at 11:48 a.m.