Secretary Perry explains why he enlisted Rudy Giuliani’s help in Ukraine

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Secretary of the Interior Rick Perry has notified the President formally that he will resign his position. He planned this for some time. This week, he also explained his contacts with Rudy Giuliani and why he recruited him to act as intermediary to speak to the President about Ukraine.

Rick Perry told the WSJ that he worked with Rudy Giuliani on Ukrainian issues in order to get Trump to meet with the new Ukrainian president.

Trump was distrustful of Ukraine after Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton. They got Paul Manafort fired over a black book that is still not verified. Democrats, chummy with Ukraine, also asked Ukraine to investigate Trump in 2018.

Mr. Perry, in an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal, said he contacted Mr. Giuliani in an effort to ease a path to a meeting between Mr. Trump and his new Ukrainian counterpart. He said Mr. Giuliani described to him during their phone call several concerns about Ukraine’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Mr. Perry also said he never heard the president, any of his appointees, Mr. Giuliani or the Ukrainian regime discuss the possibility of specifically investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential contender, and his son, Hunter Biden.

Mr. Trump’s request for a probe of the Bidens in a July 25 call with Ukraine’s president has sparked the impeachment inquiry in the House. It is not an impeachable offense no matter how much the Democrats may wish it so.

Mr. Giuliani, in an interview, confirmed the spring phone call and said he was telling Mr. Perry to “be careful” with regards to the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. “Everything I said there I probably said on television 50 times,” he said.

Mr. Perry’s phone call to Mr. Giuliani came after a May meeting at the White House following the inauguration of the Ukrainian president. U.S. officials at that meeting, including Mr. Perry and Kurt Volker, the U.S. envoy for Ukraine negotiations, urged Mr. Trump to meet his new counterpart.

Mr. Trump said work needed to be done with the help of Mr. Giuliani.

Mr. Trump said he wasn’t “comfortable” that the Ukrainians had “straightened up their act,” a concern that Mr. Perry later understood to be related to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign, Mr. Perry said, quoting Mr. Trump. “Visit with Rudy,” Mr. Perry said the president told him.

As with Mr. Volker’s testimony and the transcript of the phone call, it was distrust of Ukraine over the 2016 election that was holding the President back.

Perry explains:

In his most detailed account to date of the Ukraine events, Mr. Perry said Mr. Trump had repeatedly dismissed his requests to meet with Mr. Zelensky to show U.S. support for the new administration.

At Mr. Trump’s direction, the energy secretary said, he called Mr. Giuliani looking for a better understanding of Mr. Trump’s concerns.

“And as I recall the conversation, he said, ‘Look, the president is really concerned that there are people in Ukraine that tried to beat him during this presidential election,’ ” Mr. Perry said. “ ‘He thinks they’re corrupt and … that there are still people over there engaged that are absolutely corrupt.’ ”

What Secretary Perry and Mr. Giuliani discussed:

Mr. Perry said the president’s lawyer didn’t make any explicit demands on the call. “Rudy didn’t say they gotta do X, Y and Z,” Mr. Perry said. “He just said, ‘You want to know why he ain’t comfortable about letting this guy come in? Here’s the reason.’ ”

In the phone call, Mr. Giuliani blamed Ukraine for the dossier about Mr. Trump’s alleged ties to Russia that was created by a former British intelligence officer, Mr. Perry said, and asserted that Ukraine had Mrs. Clinton’s email server and “dreamed up” evidence that helped send former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to jail.

“I don’t know whether that was crap or what,” Mr. Perry added, “but I’m just saying there were three things that he said. That’s the reason the president doesn’t trust these guys.”

This sounds very reasonable to me. Trump wanted to ensure that the Ukraine of 2016 was gone and that the new president would ensure that it didn’t come back. Can’t blame him one bit.

Schiff will undoubtedly call him before his committee, pressure him, and leak whatever he can to make it seem like Perry said the opposite.

 


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