Dec 17, 2019

Giuliani says Trump has been "very supportive" of his dirt-digging in Ukraine

Rudy Giuliani on Sept. 24. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told CNN in a phone interview that the president has been "very supportive" of his attempts to dig up damaging information on Democrats in Ukraine, but declined to say whether Trump personally directed his efforts.

The big picture: Giuliani dismissed reports that Attorney General Bill Barr has warned Trump that Giuliani had become a liability, telling CNN: "I haven't heard that from the President. I think he would tell me." Federal prosecutors in New York are currently scrutinizing Giuliani's foreign business dealings, including his ties to two men who assisted his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election.

  • It is unclear from Giuliani's admission whether Trump was aware that he was also pursuing thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian officials in the same months he was seeking damaging information on the president's political rivals.

Giuliani also said the president was aware of his most recent trip to Ukraine to investigate allegations against Biden and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, which he believes could undermine the case for impeachment.

  • One America News, a pro-Trump media outlet, joined Giuliani on the trip and compiled a documentary series on the allegations. Trump retweeted Giuliani's promotion of the documentary on Monday.
  • "We're on the same page," Giuliani said about Trump.

Go deeper: Rudy Giuliani says he needed Yovanovitch "out of the way"

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Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.