Rudy Giuliani sought to pass the blame for his botched Ukraine dirt-digging operation to Trump administration officials and diplomats in an unhinged shouting match on Fox News — and they quickly punched back at him for causing the debacle that sparked impeachment.
The ex-mayor waved his cell phone and claimed that the State Department directed him to arrange meetings with Ukrainian officials that Democrats call a brazen effort to get them to join a smear campaign aimed at presidential rival Joe Biden.
“I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the State Department called me and asked me to do it,” Giuliani told far right host Laura Ingraham. “And then I reported to every conversation back to them.”
On Wednesday morning, Giuliani claimed he had been read a transcript of a controversial call between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that forms one pillar of a whistleblower report that is supposed to be secret.
There were signs that Trump’s White House might be seeking to distance itself from Giuliani freelance diplomacy that went horribly wrong and now has led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to open an impeachment inquiry with wide support from Democrats.
“Rudy — he did all of this,” one U.S. official told the Washington Post. “This s–t show that we’re in — it’s him injecting himself into the process.”
The fracas over Giuliani erupted in the hours after Pelosi opened a high-stakes inquiry that threatens to remove President Trump from office.
Democrats pounced on Giuliani’s remarks as evidence of the need for an intense investigation into Trump’s decision to block aid to Ukraine and his now-infamous call to Zelensky in which he asked him to investigate supposed corruption allegations involving Biden and his son, Hunter.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) said Congress intends to demand the full complaint of the intelligence whistleblower and to grill key players in the Biden smear effort.
“We don’t need a transcript to tell us what the president has already admitted,” Schiff said Wednesday. “He has violated his oath of office.”