Trump Bearhugs Rudy, But Suggests Ukraine Scheme Was Giuliani’s Idea

US President Donald Trump meets with Italian President Sergio Mattarella (not pictured) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 16, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRE... US President Donald Trump meets with Italian President Sergio Mattarella (not pictured) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 16, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 16, 2019 12:26 p.m.
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As Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani comes under increased legal scrutiny by federal prosecutors, as well Congress, for his shadow campaign in Ukraine, President Trump embraced his lawyer on Wednesday. The President praised Giuliani as the “best mayor in the history of New York” and a “great prosecutor.”

But Trump also notably attempted to wash his hands a bit of his tag-team Ukrainian pressure campaign with Giuliani, by repeatedly painting the endeavor — to push the Ukrainian government to investigate the Biden family — as a very Giuliani-led effort.

So, Rudy was a great prosecutor. He was the best mayor in the history of New York as far as I can see. I think he’s pretty much acknowledged what he did with crime and everything,” Trump said Wednesday morning. “When he saw what was going on with our election of 2016, the election I won, but the election that was absolutely corrupted by things that took place in government.”

Throughout a pool spray with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Trump repeatedly pointed to the “tremendous corruption” that took place during the 2016 election — the historic election that he won — and reiterated how much it “incensed” his lawyer Giuliani.

“Rudy Guiliani was seeking out corruption, mostly in the 2016 election. There was tremendous corruption, I think even you would admit that,” he said.

“So Rudy saw that, I can tell you, Rudy Guiliani, because he was very, very incensed at the horrible things that he saw as are many people,” he continued. “So Rudy was seeking out corruption. I think there’s nothing wrong with seeking our corruption.”

When asked if Giuliani operated as a foreign agent, Trump demurred.

“I don’t know what he did. You have to ask Rudy those questions. Don’t ask me. Rudy was one of many people that was incensed at the corruption that took place during that election. Pure corruption,” Trump said, before switching gears to divulge that he’s still asking the FBI about where the “server” is. This is a hallmark conservative conspiracy theory that involves officials somehow hiding the server that holds Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails in Ukraine.

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