White House alerted in May of Ukraine's concerns with Giuliani: report

The White House was alerted by at least mid-May that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had concerns about President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit Bob Dole: 'I'm a Trumper' but 'I'm sort of Trumped out' Ex-Trump adviser Barrack charged with secretly lobbying for UAE MORE and his pressure campaign, NBC News reported Monday.

Two people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News that the National Security Council was informed of Giuliani's efforts to push for a change in leadership at the state-owned energy company Naftogaz and for an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Iowa governor suggests immigrants partially to blame for rising COVID-19 cases Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on MORE and his son. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Fiona Hill, a former top aide to Trump on European and Russian affairs, told then-national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Bolton: Trump lacked enough 'advance thinking' for a coup MORE of Ukraine’s concerns after finding out that Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were involved in the attorney’s efforts in Ukraine.

Hill also was informed that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was providing advice to the incoming Ukrainian president during the week of May 20 about who should hold leadership positions in his administration, which a source told NBC News the Ukrainians perceived as “inappropriate.” Ukraine is not part of the EU.

Former U.S. diplomat Amos Hochstein told Hill that he had talked with Zelensky and his advisers about the pressure from Giuliani and Sondland, and they shared how they did not want to be involved in domestic U.S. politics, according to the network.

NBC News’s report clarifies that the White House National Security Council knew the pressure campaign worried Ukraine before Zelensky had been sworn in as president. 

The Hill reached out to the White House and Hill’s lawyer for comment.

The Trump administration’s relationship with Ukraine has come under scrutiny after a whistleblower report indicated Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son. News of the report pushed Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance McCarthy pulls GOP picks off House economic panel GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (D-Calif.) to announce an impeachment inquiry.

Since then, Giuliani has come under the microscope. Parnas and Fruman were arrested earlier this month and charged with campaign finance violations.