Trump directed Perry, State Dept. officials to talk to Giuliani on Ukraine: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE instructed Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerrySunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Overnight Energy: Appeals court tosses kids' climate suit | California sues Trump over fracking | Oversight finds EPA appointees slow-walked ethics obligations MORE and two top State Department officials to talk with his private attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDemocrats file brief against Trump, 'the Framers' worst nightmare' Trump lawyers attack House impeachment as 'brazen and unlawful' effort to overturn 2016 results Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial MORE about Ukraine, CNN reported Tuesday night.

Two sources familiar with the president's orders told CNN that when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wanted to schedule a meeting with Trump, Trump told the officials to persuade Giuliani. Trump reportedly thought the country was still corrupt. 

"If they can satisfy Rudy, they can satisfy the President," a source familiar with the meeting told CNN. 

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Giuliani's involvement as a private citizen in foreign affairs, specifically with Ukraine, was called into question in the whistleblower report that sparked an impeachment inquiry against Trump in the House. The report alleges that the attorney presented different foreign policies to countries than U.S. diplomats did.

Perry, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former special envoy for Ukraine Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerGOP chairmen seek interview with Obama officials as part of Biden-Ukraine probe Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Senate confirms Brouillette to replace Perry as Energy secretary MORE met with Trump on May 23, intending to inform the president that Zelensky was trustworthy and worth meeting with, sources told CNN. A meeting between the two leaders would signal to Russia that the U.S. favored a free Ukraine.

"The President was very skeptical," Volker said to the House committees last week. "In the course of that conversation, he referenced conversations with Mayor Giuliani."

Sources said officials wanted to correct the president's view on Ukraine but realized they had to interact with Giuliani to do so.

An Energy Department spokesperson told CNN that Perry did speak to Giuliani but did not comment on what the conversations involved.

When asked by CNN if he had spoken to Perry about Ukraine, Giuliani said, "Did Henry Kissinger ever call me about Ukraine. What about Colin PowellColin Luther PowellSupreme Court agrees to hear 'faithless elector' cases The Memo: Trump era flips script on views of intelligence agencies #FSProud: How Mike Pompeo lost the trust of the Foreign Service MORE," before saying those conversations were privileged.

The Hill reached out to the White House, the Department of Energy and the Department of State for comment.