TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Giuliani’s Ukraine gambit at core of whistleblower complaint

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani became President Donald Trump’s courier, attack dog, fixer and a self-described meddler in another country’s affairs. His purpose was single-minded: get information “very, very helpful to my client.”

To hear the intelligence-community whistleblower tell it in the complaint unwrapped Thursday, Giuliani was a one-man wrecking ball, breaking things in a complex international landscape and leaving actual diplomatic envoys to clean up his “damage.”

To hear Giuliani tell it, “I will be the hero” in this episode and those who criticize him now are “morons.” So he told The Atlantic magazine.

He was once called America’s Mayor, the man whose moxie and grace in the death and rubble of 9/11 personified his stricken city and won him admiration around a shocked world.

Now he blends a sentiment that was familiar from that time and is familiar again in the world view of Trump himself: You’re with us or against us. If you’re not with me, you’re the enemy — of the president, the people, the country.

Citing the accounts of mostly unidentified U.S. officials, and buttressed by Giuliani’s own words from countless turns on Fox News, his tweets and newspaper interviews, the anonymous whistleblower pieces together a systematic effort by Giuliani on behalf of Trump to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his businessman son, Hunter.

Trump made that appeal explicitly in a July phone call with Ukraine’s new president that is at the heart of the whistleblower’s complaint. “I would like for you to do us a favor,” Trump said.

But the whistleblower goes well beyond the phone call to lay out Giuliani’s efforts back to late last year. He or she also traces the consternation that Giuliani’s machinations were causing inside the U.S. administration and even among some people in the White House itself.

“Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple U.S. officials that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the President,” says the whistleblower.

“These officials also told me that State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to ‘contain the damage’ to U.S. national security,” the whistleblower continues.

Kurt Volker, official U.S. envoy for Ukraine negotiations, and Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, also met officials from the new Ukrainian administration and “sought to help Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.”

The complaint cites published reports of meetings Giuliani held with Ukraine’s chief prosecutor in New York in January and Warsaw, Poland, in February, after a phone call he had late in 2018 with the prosecutor’s predecessor. Giuliani associates later traveled to Kyiv and met the chief of the security service and another close adviser to the newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the complaint states.

This was the month Giuliani himself planned to go, and he was blunt to The New York Times about his purpose when his intended trip came to light. He intended to press for an investigation that would be helpful to Trump’s reelection.

“We’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” he said. “There’s nothing illegal about it,” he went on, though “somebody could say it’s improper.”

The next day, he canceled the trip and complained about the lack of cooperation from the new Ukrainian administration. Zelenskiy is “surrounded by enemies of the (U.S) president,” he said, “and of the United States.”

In this period, the whistleblower says, citing the “general understanding” of U.S. officials close to the matter, the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that the prospects for a meeting or phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy would depend on whether the Ukrainian president “showed willingness to ‘play ball.’”

In June, Giuliani tweeted his frustration about Zelenskiy’s “silence” on the matters he wanted him to pursue.

Then in July, says the whistleblower, “I learned of a sudden change of policy with respect to U.S. assistance for Ukraine” — namely that Trump had personally instructed all U.S. agencies to suspend all military aid to Ukraine.

A week later, Trump and Zelenskiy had their July 25 phone call.

The complaint states that about a week after the call, Giuliani traveled to Madrid, Spain, to follow up with a Zelenskiy aide about matters arising from the phone call.

And about a week after that, Trump took a conciliatory tone, calling Zelenskiy a “very reasonable guy” and dangling the possibility of a White House visit for him. The two met this week at the United Nations. The military aid that had been held up was eventually released. There’s no sign that the Bidens are under any official Ukrainian investigation for Hunter Biden’s business relationships in that country when his father was vice president.

To the whistleblower, the episode shows Trump “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election,” with Giuliani “a central figure in this effort.”

During the special counsel’s Russia probe, Giuliani proved more useful for commanding headlines than in the courtroom. He became a staple on cable news, the face of a legal team that helped Trump emerge from the investigation with a less damaging result than many had expected.

Now Giuliani is doing some damage-control for himself, as some Republicans suggest Trump was ill-served by his interventions.

“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not,” he told The Atlantic. “And I will be the hero! These morons — when this is over, I will be the hero.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WATCH FNN NEWS NOW

National Politics

Mulvaney getting second-guessed over his defense of Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — For Mick Mulvaney, the hits just keep on coming. First, President Donald Trump’s…

Residents of northeast Syria city pelt departing US troops

AKCAKALE, Turkey (AP) — Angry over the U.S. withdrawal, residents of a Kurdish-dominated Syrian city…

Florida National News Names Four New Associate Editors

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kareen Kennedy, Randy Ross, Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey and Kasey Hudson…

Florida Democratic Party Chair Blasts GOP as ‘Axis of Corruption’

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Over 1,500 Democrats from across Florida descended on…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

[WATCH] Orlando Mayoral Candidates Buddy Dyer, Sam Ings, Aretha Simons Debate The Issues

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orlando mayoral candidates incumbent Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Sam Ings and…

Florida Democratic Party Chair Blasts GOP as ‘Axis of Corruption’

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Over 1,500 Democrats from across Florida descended on…

Governor Ron DeSantis and FDEM Award $150.9 Million to Bay County and $20 Million to Mexico Beach for Hurricane Michael Recovery

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has…

Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Two to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointments of Judge Caroline Shepherd and…

WATCH FNN POLITICS & POWER

FNN SPORTS

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, September 8, 2019. Image: 49erswebzone.com.
    TAMPA (FNN SPORTS) - What to Expect in Week 1: Buccaneers vs. 49ers (Image: 49erswebzone.com)

MORE SPORTS NEWS

The XFL announced its 2020 schedule

Stamford, Conn., – The XFL today announced its 2020 schedule, a 79-day sprint from kick-off to…

49ers beat Redskins in ugly 9-0 game to improve to 6-0

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Nick Bosa sacked Case Keenum to run out the clock, belly…

UCF Defeats East Carolina 41-28 in Homecoming Despite Challenging Second Half

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The UCF Knights (4-2, 1-1 AAC) returned rested and energized…

Homecoming Game vs. ECU a Must-Win for the UCF Knights

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - There's been a lot of homecoming talk lately, and homecoming…

Florida National News Names Four New Associate Editors

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kareen Kennedy, Randy Ross, Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey and Kasey Hudson…

Orlando Magic Suffer Tough 126-94 Loss at Home Against Philadelphia 76ers

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Going into the Orlando Magic's Sunday preseason game, against the…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • High prices drove US home sales down 2.2% in September
    WASHINGTON (AP) — High prices drove US home sales down 2.2% in September

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Demand for fast, online delivery drives UPS 3Q

DALLAS (AP) — UPS is doing booming business in next-day deliveries in the United States…

McDonald’s comparable-store sales feed on deliveries

CHICAGO (AP) — Surging demand for delivery is pushing comparable-store sales higher at McDonald’s, but…

US stocks edge higher on company earnings; Biogen surges

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher in early trading Tuesday following several positive earnings…

High prices drove US home sales down 2.2% in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales fell 2.2% in September, as rising home prices and…

Under Armour founder Kevin Plank relinquishes CEO post

BALTIMORE (AP) — Under Armour founder Kevin Plank will step down as CEO in the…

Mission Resolve Foundation Purchases Forklifts and Provides Forklift Training to NEMA Grand Bahama

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Mission Resolve Foundation // Mission Resolve Foundation purchased…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • LAS VEGAS (AP) - All in for riches: World Series of Poker marks 50th run

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Sheila E. to Perform Live in Disney’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Queen of Percussion, Sheila E., will be live in…

VIDEO: Vin Diesel’s Back in Action with Sci-Fi Comic Movie ‘BLOODSHOT’

LOS ANGELES, Ca. (FNN NEWS) - Vin Diesel fans will get their next fix of…

Review: In ‘Mistress of Evil,’ Maleficent plays mom

For a moment, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” seems poised to turn into a wonderful take…

Orlando Film Festival: ‘Do Not Reply’ a Cautionary Tale on Teen Social Media Abductions

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - With the Orlando Film Festival in full swing, many filmmakers…

Orlando Film Festival Hosts Magical Opening Night with Walt Disney Documentary

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The 2019 Orlando Film Festival returned to the Cobb Theaters…

Florida National News Names Four New Associate Editors

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kareen Kennedy, Randy Ross, Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey and Kasey Hudson…

LIFESTYLE: TRAVEL, TOURISM, THEME PARKS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Sheila E. to Perform Live in Disney’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Queen of Percussion, Sheila E., will be live in…

Top Car Brands Return to Orlando for Central Florida International Auto Show

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The world's top car brands came to Orlando to show…

Orange County’s “Don’t Pitch It-Fix It!” Event Urges Residents to Salvage Stuff

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orange County's Environmental Protection Division is celebrating National Pollution Prevention…

Halloween in Orlando Starts in September

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - It may only be September, but Halloween is already in…

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” Now Open at Universal Orlando Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Source: Universal Orlando Resort // The darker side of the…

Universal Orlando Resort Rolls Out New Year’s Eve Celebrations Across the Entire Destination

ORLANDO, Fla. – At Universal Orlando Resort, New Year’s Eve isn’t just another holiday – it’s…