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. Why? Because Trump was so distrustful of Ukraine that he wouldn’t even meet with the new president:
WSJ – 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, concerns that haven’t been substantiated.
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.
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 told officials there that they needed to work with Mr. Giuliani to resolve his concerns before he would agree to such a meeting, according to people familiar with the matter.
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.
This is what we heard from Volker’s testimony, that it was Trump’s skepticism and distrust of Ukraine – after they tried to prevent him from winning the 2016 election – that made him very cautious about working with them.
Perry explains more:
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 Perry and Rudy 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.
But I’m sure shifty Schiff will wanna drag Perry in front of his committee and pressure him to say that this was really about investigating Biden and not about 2016 corruption.