Rudy Giuliani tells CNN he has “no knowledge of any of that crap” in the newly released complaint from an American intelligence community whistleblower.
Asked Thursday morning about details from the complaint that multiple US officials were “deeply concerned” about his activities speaking with Ukrainian officials and nationals, Giuliani called the charge “total nonsense.”
Giuliani spoke to CNN multiple times on Thursday morning from what he said was his room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. During one of those calls, the sound of the House Intelligence Committee hearing with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire could be heard in the background.
Giuliani refuted claims included in the complaint that two State Department officials had spoken to him to “contain the damage” he was doing to US national security interests regarding his work with Ukraine.
“At no time did either one of them say they wanted to contain damage,” Giuliani told CNN. “At no time did the State Department in communication with me ever relay any of that information you’re talking about.”
Giuliani also said he had a “nice little trail” of text message conversations with the top US diplomat to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, to prove his story.
“I spoke to the State Department during the course of this situation, I told you, at least 10 times, and I met with them,” Giuliani told CNN.
Giuliani said Volker informed him that the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky went well. He also said that days earlier, around July 19, Volker first contacted him about connecting Giuliani with one of Zelensky’s top advisers, Andriy Yermak.
Giuliani shared with CNN what he claimed was a text message from Volker on July 19.
“Mr Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning,” read the message shared with CNN. “As discussed, connecting you here with Andrey Yermak, who is very close to President Zelensky. I suggest we schedule a call together on Monday — maybe 10am or 11am Washington time? Kurt”
After at least two phone calls between Giuliani and Yermak, the two men eventually met on August 1 in Madrid, according to Giuliani. Giuliani also told CNN he shared all of the details of his conversations with Yermak with his contacts at the State Department, primarily Volker.
“I don’t think they’d thank me if I was interfering in foreign relations,” Giuliani said. “And I don’t think they’d call me and put me together with Yermak, which they indisputably did, even admitted it, if they weren’t happy with what I did. But I can’t imagine why they’d be unhappy. I told them everything that I did. There’s nothing I did that they don’t know.”
In a statement last month, the State Department acknowledged that Volker put Zelensky’s adviser Andriy Yermak in “direct contact” with Giuliani. But State downplayed the idea that it had directed Giuliani to speak with Yermak.
“Mr. Giuliani is a private citizen and acts in a personal capacity as a lawyer for President Trump. He does not speak on behalf of the U.S. Government,” read the August 23 statement.
The whistleblower’s complaint claims US officials characterized the August Madrid meeting as a “direct follow-up” to Trump’s call with Zelensky.
According to the White House transcript of that call, Trump and Zelensky discussed two stalled cases in Ukraine that Giuliani had been investigating in his capacity as Trump’s lawyer. One of them involved a company that Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden served on the board of. Trump told Zelensky he “would like him [Giuliani] to call you.”
Giuliani told CNN he was not aware that his August 1 meeting with Yermak was intended to follow up on Trump’s call with Zelensky. Giuliani claimed he was unaware that Zelensky and Trump had brought his name up. He also said he never spoke with Trump about his meetings with Yermak, nor did they discuss the July 25 phone call.
Over the course of the interviews Thursday morning, Giuliani complained about his treatment relative to the whistleblower.
“I should be as sympathetic as a whistleblower. I did my job and now all these people are torturing me,” he said.
He also said he had more text messages, five or six, that indicate the State Department was encouraging his work in Ukraine.
“I’m going to use them to protect myself if and when I need them,” Giuliani said.