Trump ally Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) distanced himself from the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani during an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo Thursday night.
“I think it’s a little weird that Rudy Giuliani is over in Ukraine right now, and I’m not here to defend Rudy Giuliani,” Gaetz told Cuomo.
Cuomo began by asking Gaetz what he made of Giuliani’s presence in Ukraine, where he met this week with government officials as part of his ongoing effort to prompt the opening of a corruption investigation that would benefit Trump politically.
Giuliani met on Thursday with a KGB-trained member of Ukraine’s parliament to discuss a possible investigation into Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden. In November, news broke that Giuliani considered taking Ukraine’s top prosecutor as a client earlier this year, as he urged the prosecutor and other Ukrainian officials to investigate former vice president Joe Biden.
Gaetz replied by saying that Giuliani deserved “to get the benefit of the doubt” due to his past credentials, but was not shy about voicing some skepticism.
“As you point out, there’s some ambiguity about the role that Rudy Giuliani’s playing, and I think it probably would be helpful if Rudy clarified the role that he was playing in these different circumstances, and if he’s acting for other clients or other entities, that would be helpful information to have,” Gaetz said. The Florida congressman added that “if Mayor Giuliani did something wrong, which I haven’t seen evidence of, then of course there’s a process to deal with that.”
"There is some ambiguity about the role that Rudy Giuliani is playing," says GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz about the President's personal attorney's efforts in Ukraine. "It probably would be helpful if Rudy clarified the role that he was playing in different circumstances." pic.twitter.com/uepPuBECW9
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) December 6, 2019
Gaetz was also quick to defend Trump when Cumo pressed on whether Giuliani’s work was proof of the crimes Democrats are mulling in drafting articles of impeachment.
“When it comes to the president, which is what this impeachment is about, you have a long-held criticism and concern about foreign aid, you have a legitimate concern about Ukraine — the third-most corrupt country in the world — and you also have specific legitimate concern about Burisma,” Gaetz said.
“It was in fact Mr. Kent, who testified that there was such substantial concerns about Burisma, that our own embassy had to pull out of a private partnership with them out of fear that we would be smeared with this type of corrupt behavior. So, with all of that being a legitimate question, the president should not never be impeached on it.”
Giuliani continues to publicly claim that he is in possession of evidence that proves Joe Biden abused his position as vice president to benefit his son.
…to the US assisting Ukraine with its anti-corruption reforms.
The American people will learn that Biden & other Obama administration officials, contributed to the increased level of corruption in Ukraine between 2014 to 2016.
This evidence will all be released very soon.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 5, 2019