Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is just as puzzled as many of us are about Rudy Giuliani’s trip to Ukraine this week while the impeachment inquiry ramps up.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Giuliani traveled to Budapest and Kyiv this week to meet with former Ukrainian prosecutors pushing dirt on Joe Biden as part of a documentary series for the low-rated conservative network One America News.
During a Thursday night appearance on CNN, Gaetz told Chris Cuomo that he finds it “a little weird” that the President’s personal lawyer is in the Ukraine amid ongoing impeachment proceedings.
“I think it’s a little weird Rudy Giuliani is in the Ukraine right now,” Gaetz said, before telling Cuomo that he’s “not here to defend Rudy Giuliani.”
However, Gaetz said that he would like to give Giuliani the “benefit of the doubt.”
After Cuomo responded by saying that he doesn’t think the former New York City mayor is “the problem,” but rather it’s “who sent him,” he pressed Gaetz further on who’s paying Giuliani and why is he there in the first place.
“If there is a logical extension of foreign policy, as you guys argue this was about, then why is Mayor Giuliani involved at all?” Cuomo asked Gaetz.
“I don’t know,” Gaetz said, before pivoting to how “our country does have a history of using people in a non-traditional way.”
Gaetz then went on to argue that because “the President even encouraged me to meet with foreign leaders and carry a message now and then outside of the official channels,” he believes “there’s nothing wrong with that inherently.”
When reporters pressed White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley during a Friday press gaggle about Giuliani’s Ukraine trip, Gidley dodged the question by saying that whether Trump is aware of what his personal lawyer is doing in Ukraine is “a question between Rudy and the President,” according to a pool report.
According to the pool report, when asked whether Trump is “comfortable with what Rudy is doing in Ukraine,” Gidley denied having “spoken with him about that directly” but that “obviously Rudy Giuliani can speak for himself, he’s the President’s personal attorney.”
Gidley said that Giuliani is still the President’s personal attorney, to the best of his knowledge.
Watch Gaetz’s remarks below:
Gaetz: "I think it’s a little weird Rudy Giuliani is in the Ukraine right now." pic.twitter.com/rEiDtAm1tE
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 6, 2019