President Trump’s lawyer wouldn’t say for sure Monday that Trump didn’t threaten to cut off aid to Ukraine if the country didn’t investigate Joe Biden’s son.
In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Rudy Giuliani said he couldn’t say “100%” whether Trump used $250 million in military aid to Ukraine as leverage over the country’s government because “I don’t have our version” of what happened on a July phone call that’s now at the center of an emerging scandal.
Trump has confirmed that he spoke on the phone on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That call is the subject of a whistleblower’s complaint because Trump reportedly pressured Zelensky repeatedly to re-open an investigation into Hunter Biden that could damage his father’s presidential campaign.
After that call — and while Giuliani met in Spain last month with an adviser to Zelensky — the Trump administration was withholding $250 million in security assistance from Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress, raising questions of whether Trump attempted to use it as leverage.
“Did the President threaten to cut off aid to the Ukraine?” Bartiromo asked Giuliani Monday morning.
“No, that was a false story,” Giuliani replied.
“One hundred percent?” Bartiromo pressed.
“Well I can’t tell you it’s 100 percent, I don’t have our version,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani pivoted to Ukraine’s foreign minister, who denied on Saturday that Trump had pressured Zelensky during the call.
Rather than passing on the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress from the intelligence community’s inspector general, the Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has withheld the complaint. And while the Ukrainian government released a brief readout of the call in July, the White House did not.
Trump has acknowledged that “corruption” came up during the call, and Giuliani said Monday that even if the President did withhold military aid in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political adversary’s son, “what Biden did is much worse.”
Giuliani, in his capacity as Trump’s attorney, has pushed the story for weeks, and promised in light of the recent coverage that there was more to come.
The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, both reported last week that the aid did not come up during Trump and Zelensky’s phone call.