Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani furiously defends involvement in Ukraine scandal

REUTERS
REUTERS

Rudy Giuliani defended his involvement in the explosive Ukraine scandal that has led to an official impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, saying “when this is over, I will be the hero”.

“I’m not acting as a lawyer,” the current personal attorney to the president and former New York City mayor said in a phone call with The Atlantic on Thursday. “I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government.”

“Anything I did should be praised,” he added.

Mr Giuliani called the outlet amid a chaotic day on Capitol Hill, in which acting National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire testified before Congress about a whistleblower complaint alleging the president abused his power to seek foreign help in his 2020 re-election bid.

The complaint reportedly came from a senior member of the US Intelligence Community and read: “I have received information from multiple US Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 US election.”

It went on to detail an effort by White House lawyers to allegedly “lock down” evidence and transcripts of the phone call, in which Mr Trump seemingly urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to probe one of his 2020 rivals, Joe Biden.

Mr Giuliani reportedly sounded angry, at times out of breath and was seemingly frustrated by coverage of the developments surrounding the whistleblower.

“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not,” he said. “And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero.”

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The lawyer’s comments about his negative media coverage came as senior US officials and other Republicans were reportedly turning on the president’s close adviser, with one source reportedly telling the outlet the Ukraine scandal was “Rudy putting sh** in Trump’s head”.

Mr Giuliani fired back at those reported criticisms, saying, “They’re a bunch of cowards.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “The president knows they’re a bunch of cowards.”

The complaint listed Mr Giuliani as a “central figure” in the president’s effort to have Ukraine launch investigations into Mr Biden, and also named Attorney General William Barr as someone who “appears to be involved as well”.

It says White House officials were “directed” by attorneys to move an electronic transcript of the phone call to a separate computer system that stores highly classified information.

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