Despite indisputable evidence of wrongdoing and testimony from numerous White House officials, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress continue to argue there was no “quid pro quo” with Ukraine. But that line of defense was shattered after Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani fired off a couple of tweets that dropped like hand grenades on Trump’s lap.
Apparently writing from somewhere in Kyiv, where he’s currently traveling as part of his ongoing international effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens, Giuliani posted two tweets explicitly acknowledging a link between ongoing US assistance to Ukraine and investigations into the Biden family.
“The conversation about corruption in Ukraine was based on compelling evidence of criminal conduct by then VP Biden, in 2016, that has not been resolved and until it is will be a major obstacle … to the US assisting Ukraine with its anti-corruption reforms,” Giuliani claimed, despite the fact that no such evidence has emerged.
In short, Giuliani tweeted the quid pro quo.
…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
Trump and his Republican defenders in Congress have sought to portray the efforts of the president and Giuliani to cajole the Ukrainian government into announcing investigations into the Bidens as being rooted in the president’s good-faith concerns about “corruption,” rather than his own political self-interests.
But Giuliani’s tweet reveals the hollowness of that talking point. “Corruption” is just a stand-in word for “Biden.” He doesn’t even try to hide it.
Even though Giuliani’s tweet gives up the game, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley appeared on Fox News on Friday, still claiming that Trump “didn’t press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on anything other than getting to the bottom of corruption in his country. We know that.”
HOGAN GIDLEY TODAY: Trump "didn't press Zelensky on anything other than getting to the bottom of corruption in his country. We know that"
RUDY GIULIANI YESTERDAY: "The conversation about corruption in Ukraine was based on compelling evidence of criminal conduct by then VP Biden" pic.twitter.com/Vl3iyFitwx
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 6, 2019
But if Giuliani’s tweet isn’t enough to convince you otherwise, consider that the word “corruption” doesn’t appear even once in the summaries of the Trump-Zelensky calls released by the White House.
The notion that arguably the most personally corrupt president in American history ever had good-faith concerns about corruption abroad was hard to believe from the get-go — some might say as hard to believe as Attorney General William Barr’s claim that he couldn’t find an available room in the Washington, DC, area for his $30,000 holiday party anywhere other than the Trump International Hotel just blocks from the White House.
Yet that event is scheduled to take place this Sunday, even as Trump and his backers continue to insist that the president is, in fact, an anti-corruption crusader.