Gaze into the abyss:
Bill O’Reilly: What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?
Donald Trump: Well, you’ll have to ask that to Rudy. But Rudy, I don’t, I don’t even know…[grumble sound]…I know he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he canceled the trip. Uh, but, you know, Rudy has other clients, other than me. I’m one person…
Bill O’Reilly: So you didn’t, you didn’t direct him to go their on your behalf? You didn’t…
Donald Trump: No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior. He is a warrior.
– Donald Trump in interview with Bill O’Reilly (11/25/2019)
…We worked with Mr. Giuliani because the president directed us to do so….
…In response to our persistent efforts in that meeting to change his views, President Trump directed us to, “talk with Rudy.” We understood that talk with Rudy meant, talk with Mr. Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. Let me say again, we weren’t happy with the president’s directive to talk with Rudy. We did not want to involve Mr. Giuliani. I believe then, as I do now, that the men and women of the state department, not the president’s personal lawyer, should take responsibility for Ukraine matters…
…based on the president’s direction we were faced with a choice, we could abandon the efforts to schedule the White House phone call and a White House visit between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, which was unquestionably in our foreign policy interest, or we could do as President Trump had directed and talk with Rudy. We chose the latter course, not because we liked it, but because it was the only constructive path open to us…
Mr. Giuliani said he had been planning for several weeks to travel to Kiev to deliver a paid speech to a Jewish group about Middle East policy.
But intermediaries for Mr. Giuliani worked to organize meetings with people who they believed would have insights into the incoming Zelensky administration and the investigations in which Mr. Giuliani was interested. And in recent days, Mr. Giuliani reached out through intermediaries to request a meeting with Mr. Zelensky, he said, adding, “It’s not confirmed yet.”
If the meeting does occur, Mr. Giuliani said, “I am going to tell him what I know about the people that are surrounding him, and how important it is to do a full, complete and fair investigation.”
He said his efforts in Ukraine have the full support of Mr. Trump. He declined to say specifically whether he had briefed him on the planned meeting with Mr. Zelensky, but added, “He basically knows what I’m doing, sure, as his lawyer.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
– New York Times report by Kenneth P. Vogel (05/09/2019)
…and of course, the July 25th call itself. This is too much.