President Donald Trump appeared to hang his personal lawyer out to dry in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday night, insisting that Rudy Giuliani's push for a Biden investigation in Ukraine was not done on his behalf and noting that Giuliani has “other clients.”
Asked point-blank if Giuliani was acting on his behalf in trying to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden—an issue now at the heart of an impeachment inquiry—Trump said, “No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior, he is a warrior.”
When asked what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine, Trump deflected and told the ex-Fox anchor that he would “have to ask that to Rudy.”
“I know that he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he cancelled the trip. But Rudy has other clients, other than me. He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years,” the president continued.
According to the White House's own rough transcript of Trump's now infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump himself repeatedly brought up Giuliani in the same conversation where he reminded Zelensky of all that America does for Ukraine and asked him for a “favor.”
“Rudy very much knows what’s happening, and he is a very capable guy,” Trump told Zelensky, after asking him to investigate a widely debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election.
“If you could speak to him that would be great,” he said.
In early November, Giuliani wrote on Twitter that his probe into “2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption” was done to “defend (his) client against false charges.”
Giuliani's consulting business—Giuliani Partners—and Ukraine activities are reportedly being examined by federal prosecutors. Two of Giuliani's associates—Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman—recently pleaded not guilty to campaign finance charges, and Parnas' own firm paid Giuliani Partners for consulting work. Both men reportedly met with Giuliani before meeting with Ukrainian officials to push for the investigations.