Giuliani scraps trip to Ukraine, denies Biden smear effort





New York (tca/dpa) - Rudy Giuliani said Saturday he scrapped a controversial trip to Ukraine because he was about to be entrapped in a "lion's den" set up by Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and other enemies of President Donald Trump.



 
The president's lawyer portrayed the aborted trip as an innocent effort to push for an honest investigation into various alleged deals in the country that played a key role in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia collusion investigation.
"I was walking into a lion's den and (sources) told me I had to be very careful," Giuliani told The New York Daily News, citing unnamed people with "a great deal of knowledge."
The former [New York] mayor originally admitted that the journey was an effort to push a convoluted investigation involving the son of the Democratic frontrunner.
But Saturday, he told the Daily News that he only planned to meet with Ukraine's newly-elected President Volodymyr Zelensky. He claimed he canned the trip because Zelensky was under the thumb of Trump-haters.
"Right now (Zelensky) is in the hands of people who supported Hillary and hate Trump," he said.
Giuliani's ham-handed about-face ended a mini-furor over the planned trip that was first revealed Thursday.
Giuliani had said he planned to urge officials to reopen a probe into business payments made to Joe Biden's son, Hunter, by a Ukrainian oligarch. He also wanted to prod them to find out if Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to scrap an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas company linked to Hunter Biden.
Democrats were quick to lash out over Giuliani's plans to travel to Ukraine and his political intentions.
"The president is openly asking a foreign government to investigate his political rival," Senator Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, tweeted Friday. "This is next level."
Giuliani was quick to fire back, tweeting, "Explain to me why Biden shouldn't be investigated."
But Giuliani shifted gears as criticism mounted, including from some Republicans. By Friday night he decided to cancel the trip.
He scoffed Saturday at reports that congressional Democrats want to investigate the aborted trip.
"Of course they want another investigation," he told the Daily News. "I'll be the 84th investigation."

Sunday, May 12th 2019
By Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News
           


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