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

President Trump instructed Energy Secretary Rick Perry and two top State Department officials to talk with his private attorney Rudy Giuliani 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. 

{mosads}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 Volker 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 Powell,” 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.

Tags Colin Powell Donald Trump Donald Trump Gordon Sondland Kurt Volker Kurt Volker Rick Perry Rick Perry Rudy Giuliani Rudy Giuliani Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
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