Giuliani asked for nothing, ex-Ukraine chief says
Poroshenko says he only spoke to U.S. adviser about military support
HALIFAX — The former president of Ukraine confirmed Sunday he met with Rudy Giuliani in late 2017, but Petro Poroshenko told a security conference in Halifax he and President Donald Trump’s then-adviser talked only about U.S. support — and he insisted Giuliani did not ask for anything in return.
Poroshenko, who in April was defeated by Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a presidential election, said he spoke with Giuliani about increasing American support for the Ukrainian military, cybersecurity and financial reforms.
During a question-and-answer session at the annual Halifax International Security Forum, moderator Robin Shepherd asked Poroshenko if Giuliani had imposed any conditions on U.S. support.
Giuliani, a Trump ally who later became the president’s personal attorney, has been accused during the Trump impeachment inquiry of running a parallel diplomatic effort aimed at getting Ukraine to investigate former vice-president Joe Biden — Trump’s potential rival in the 2020 U.S. election.
“Definitely, I cannot imagine this type of talks with me as a president of Ukraine,” Poroshenko told the moderator.
Poroshenko’s account of the meeting in October or November 2017 came under intense scrutiny at the forum because of the close connection between Ukrainian politics and the ongoing presidential impeachment inquiry in Washington.
The impeachment process started after an anonymous whistleblower alleged that during a July 25 call, Trump told Zelenskiy he would withhold military aid to Ukraine unless Zelenskiy investigated Biden and his son Hunter.
The whistleblower and other U.S. officials have accused Trump of using the power of his office to illegally solicit interference from a foreign country.
At the Halifax event, Poroshenko was asked if Giuliani mentioned Biden or Burisma, the Ukrainian natural-gas company that employed Hunter Biden.
“Definitely not, and it cannot be,” Poroshenko answered.
The former president was also asked about his White House meeting with Trump in June 2017.
“We talked about global cooperation and security sector and support for reforms,” Poroshenko said without elaborating.
Poroshenko’s role in the political intrigue surrounding
Trump is expected to gain attention in the weeks ahead as one of Trump’s most vocal defenders — South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — confirmed last week he is seeking documents related to Joe Biden’s communications with Ukrainian officials.
Without citing any evidence, Trump has alleged Biden, as vice-president, pressured Ukrainian officials to fire the country’s lead prosecutor to protect his son.
Petro Poroshenko says he spoke with Rudy Giuliani about increasing American support for the Ukrainian military.