Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump mocks Romney with video contrasting their presidential bids Murphy blasts GOP on whistleblower response: ‘We’re watching this country turn into a banana republic’ GOP senator: Releasing transcript of Trump-Ukraine call would set ‘dangerous precedent’ MORE told Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityFederal appeals court revives Seth Rich’s family’s lawsuit against Fox News Politicon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Ed Henry returns to ‘Fox & Friends’ in teary interview after recovering from donating part of his liver MORE on Fox News Monday night that his recent dealings with Ukraine were initiated by the State Department.
“The State Department called me and said would I take a call from Mr. [Andriy] Yermak, who’s No. 2 or three to the president-elect who is now the president,” said Giuliani, one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNYT publisher: US didn’t step in to protect reporter from arrest in Egypt so paper turned to Ireland Trump instructed administration to withhold military aid for Ukraine days before call with president: report More Democrats threaten impeachment over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine MORE‘s personal attorneys.
Giuliani said he then spoke with Yermak and that he then passed along the “enormously important facts” to the State Department.
When reached for comment, a State Department spokesperson said, “Mr. Giuliani is a private citizen and acts in a personal capacity as a lawyer for President Trump. He does not speak on behalf of the U.S. Government.”
Giuliani’s Monday night comments follow a Wall Street Journal report last week in which he said he traveled to Paris in June to meet with a Ukrainian official from the prosecutor general’s office and then to Madrid in August to meet with Yermak. Both meetings were part of the Trump administration’s effort to pressure the Ukrainian government to look further into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump instructed administration to withhold military aid for Ukraine days before call with president: report More Democrats threaten impeachment over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine Seven Freshman Democrats pen op-ed urging Congress to impeach Trump if new allegations are true MORE and his son, Hunter Biden.
The Associated Press reported Monday that President Trump ordered $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine to be frozen days before he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The phone call was the catalyst for the whistleblower complaint that reportedly said Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate the Biden family.
Trump confirmed Tuesday that he had withheld the funds from Ukraine.
Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate who is leading the field in most national polls, has called for the White House to release a transcript of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky.
“Such clear-cut corruption damages and diminishes our institutions of government by making them tools of a personal political vendetta,” Biden said in a statement.
–Updated at 11:48 a.m.