Donald Trump said Sunday that he would have ‘no problem’ with Rudy Giuliani testifying before Congress about his involvement in a controversy related to Ukrainian corruption and the Biden family.
‘I would have no problem with [it],’ the president told DailyMail.com as he left the White House for a trip to Texas and Ohio. ‘Rudy’s a very straight shooter.’
‘Rudy wants to see the same thing as a lot of other people with respect to Ukraine,’ he said. ‘Ukraine has had a tremendous corruption problem.’
He also suggested that a July phone call he shared with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky included some mention of the Bidens, contradicting his more careful statements to date.
Some liberal Democrats are eager to add to their impeachment ammunition against the president, and see Giuliani as a ripe target.
President Donald Trump told DailyMail.com this morning that he would have ‘no problem’ with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani testifying before Congress about his involvement in a brewing scandal linking Ukraine’s former government to the family of former VP Joe Biden
Giuliani, pictured at Friday night’s State Dinner for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is a ‘straight shooter,’ Trump said Sunday
In a CNN appearance on Thursday, Giuliani at first denied and then admitted to pressuring Ukraine to investigate whether the Bidens engaged in any corruption there
Joe Biden (right) pressured Ukraine in 2016, when he was the U.S. vice president, to fire its top prosecutor – who had been investigating an energy company where his son Hunter Biden (left) served on the board of directors; the then-vice president had threatened to cancel $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t comply
‘The conversation I had was largely congratulatory,’ Trump said, ‘with largely corruption – all of the corruption taking place – and largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating [sic] to the corruption already in the Ukraine.’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will meet with Trump on Wednesday at the United Nations in New York City
Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, sparred with CNN host Chris Cuomo on Thursday night about whether he had asked Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.
In that interview Giuliani at first denied and then confirmed reports that he had Giuliani at first denied, and then confirmed he had asked Ukraine’s government to investigate the Bidens.
He also insisted that Trump didn’t direct him to lobby Ukraine for anything Biden-related.
‘I did what I did on my own,’ he told Cuomo.
The suggestion that Trump or someone in his inner circle asked Zelensky to consider prosecuting the son of a Democratic White House rival has roiled Washington for the past two days.
Some news reports say Trump pressed Zelensky at least eight times during a July phone call to probe Hunter Biden’s activities.
Others say Trump never asked him to put the former vice president’s son under a microscope during an election season.
Aggressive Democrats on Capitol Hill are eager to prove the president is guilty of corruption, so they can impeach him.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told CNN on SUnday that President Trump may have ‘crossed the Rubicon’ on impeachment, adding that Trump ‘is pushing us down this road.’
Biden has played coy about the story while airing his complaints about the president nonstop. In Iowa on Saturday he told reporters that ‘depending on what the House finds, it could be impeachment. I’m not making that judgment now.’
‘This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power. To get on the phone with a foreign leader who is looking for help from the United States, and ask about me and imply things – if that’s what happened. That appears to be what happened. … This is outrageous. You have never seen anything like this.’
The former vice president has maintained front-runner status throughout the Democratic presidential primary season, but is slipping in reent polls.
Initial news reports suggested Trump used the promise of military aid as an inducement to persuade the Ukrainian leader to put the Bidens under a spotlight. That claim seemed to evaporate by week’s end.
As vice president, Biden threatened during a 2016 trip to Kiev that he would withhold $1 billion in American loan guarantees if Ukraine’s leaders failed to fire the country’s prosecutor general – an official who had been probing an energy company that employed Hunter Biden as a board member.
The Ukrainian Parliament bowed to the pressure by voting to remove the prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko.
Giuliani said Thursday night that he had asked Ukraine to examine the circumstances surrounding Lutsenko’s decision to pull the plug on a separate investigation of AntAC, a George Soros-funded nonprofit.
He said AntAC was behind ‘all of the dirty information that ended up being a false document that was created in order to incriminate [Paul] Manafort.’
Manafort, President Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, is serving prison time for a laundry list of federal offenses including tax evasion, bank fraud, obstruction of justice and violations of lobbying laws.