Senior White House officials not involved in the underlying scheme knew about Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government earlier than previously known, NBC reported.
Fiona Hill, a top national security official who left the Trump administration in June, reportedly learned in May that the former New York City mayor was trying to change the leadership of Ukraine’s state-owned energy monopoly.
That effort involved Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, two Giuliani pals who were indicted this month on federal campaign finance charges.
Hill reportedly told her boss John Bolton about Giuliani’s activities, and that the campaign by Trump’s lawyer had “rattled” Ukraine’s newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky.
It’s not clear where the information went after it reached Bolton. The former national security adviser shut down a July meeting with Ukrainian officials after U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland raised the prospect of “investigations.”
The news outlet also reported that Hill learned that Sondland was giving Zelensky “unsolicited advice” on who to appoint in his new government. Ukrainian officials, NBC reported, found it “inappropriate.”
This story has been updated to reflect that John Bolton was the national security adviser.
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