To hear Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker tell it, Rudy Giuliani was wrecking the Washington-Kyiv relationship with his conspiracies and calls for investigation while seasoned diplomats just tried to rein him in. And it’s that unchecked blundering that got the Trump administration into the Ukraine impeachment mess in the first place, according to a transcript of his deposition released Tuesday. In it, Volker portrays Giuliani as a Rasputin-like figure—a mad zealot who poisons the mind of the king, dodges every attempt by the palace to keep him from the ruler, and threatens to bring down the whole empire in the process. So what was Rudy telling Trump about Ukraine? How much did the Trump administration officials hate him? And was there any daylight between Giuliani’s diplomacy and theirs?
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Whisper campaign: Volker testified that Giuliani had engaged in a campaign of conspiracy-mongering about Ukraine in discussions with Donald Trump, which made it hard for the president to engage on the U.S.-Ukraine relationship.