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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE instructed Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Energy Department agrees to begin releasing Ukraine-related records Trump indicates he'd block Bolton's testimony 'for the sake of the office' MORE and two top State Department officials to talk with his private attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine Parnas: Environment around Trump 'like a cult' 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. 


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 PowellThe Memo: Trump era flips script on views of intelligence agencies #FSProud: How Mike Pompeo lost the trust of the Foreign Service Merit-based immigration? Not if you consider the career of Gen. John Shalikashvili 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.