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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE instructed Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryNew Energy secretary cancels Paris trip amid mass strikes against Macron proposal Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits MORE and two top State Department officials to talk with his private attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDOJ releases memos backing Trump immunity claims ahead of impeachment vote Giuliani to Trump after Ukraine trip: I got 'more than you can imagine' Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' 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 VolkerPush to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Senate confirms Brouillette to replace Perry as Energy secretary How Democrats' missing witnesses could fill in the Ukraine story 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 Powell#FSProud: How Mike Pompeo lost the trust of the Foreign Service Merit-based immigration? Not if you consider the career of Gen. John Shalikashvili Trump directed Perry, State Dept. officials to talk to Giuliani on Ukraine: report 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.