Joe Biden’s campaign has offered its first response after Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani originally said on Thursday that he would make a trip to the Ukraine to urge the country to investigate the Democratic presidential candidate.
Edited by: JV Staff
On Friday night, Giuliani had announced that the trip was to be cancelled, “It’s great to see all these strong progressive voices stand up to this attempt at a blatantly political smear which in and of itself reflects the urgent need for change and to restore the soul of the country,” a Biden campaign official told CNN.
CNN reported that Giuliani planned to meet with the country’s president-elect to encourage him to pursue two matters of interest to Trump: restarting an investigation into a Ukrainian company linked to Biden’s son, and looking into whether Ukrainians worked with Democrats to prompt the FBI investigation into Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
President Trump commented on possibly investigating Biden’s alleged actions in Ukraine in an exclusive interview with Politico on Friday. Trump said it would be “appropriate” to discuss the issue with Attorney General Bill Barr, but said he hadn’t done so yet. “It could be a very big situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Giuliani has faced “withering attacks accusing him of seeking foreign assistance for President Trump’s re-election campaign,” the New York Times reports.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke were among the 2020 Democratic contenders to express concern about Giuliani’s efforts, according to the CNN report.
“I just think it is highly unethical for the President’s personal lawyer to go meet with officials from foreign government to see if they can influence somehow the upcoming presidential election,” Warren said in Kermit, West Virginia. “We’ve had enough of that and Rudy Giuliani should just back off.”
In New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said Giuliani’s proposed trip to Ukraine was “so very troubling, very disappointing, and yet not a total surprise, given this President’s behavior and the pattern that he’d already set.”
Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill also chimed in with criticism of the proposed trip, according to the CNN report,
“It’s stunning that the Trump administration is going down the same tragic path they did in 2016. Here you have the President’s lawyer seeking help from a foreign government again to influence a presidential election. It’s just appalling,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Friday.
“And his defense that he’s not seeking a foreign government’s help in the election, just an investigation — yes, it’s an investigation designed to affect one of the candidates they fear the most. I think it’s reprehensible.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, who called for a Senate query on Giuliani’s proposed trip to Ukraine before it was canceled, tweeted, “I know we’ve become numb to the corruption of this Administration, but this story should be the total focus of the political class today. The President is openly asking a foreign government to investigate his political rival. This is next level.”