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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 John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiMichigan voter fraud hearing goes viral for alleged flatulence, unruly witness Trump hits Barr over voter fraud remarks: 'He hasn't looked' Trump pardon scandal would doom his 2024 campaign 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 BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE and his son. 

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Fiona Hill, a former top aide to Trump on European and Russian affairs, told then-national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonDefense policy bill would create new cyber czar position Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday 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 PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser 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.