President Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, admitted asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden moments after denying the allegation.

During Cuomo Prime Time on CNN, Chris Cuomo questioned Giuliani about conversations he had with a Ukrainian official regarding former Vice President Joe Biden‘s possible role in the dismissal of a prosecutor who had investigated the former vice president’s son’s connection to the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings.

When first asked if he requested the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden, Giuliani replied, “No, actually I didn’t. I asked the Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.”

Cuomo then followed up to confirm he never asked about Joe Biden or his son, Hunter.


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“The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko, was appointed, dismissed the case,” Giuliani said, referring to former Ukrainian prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.

“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden,” said Cuomo.

“Of course I did,” said Giuliani.

When probed further Giuliani elaborated that he had not asked for Biden or his son to be investigated specifically, but instead asked the government “to look into the allegations that related to my client, which tangentially involved Joe Biden in a massive bribery scheme.”

As Vice President, Biden did urge Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor and threatened withholding U.S. aid. However, it is not clear if acted in the interests of his son or if Burisma was even actively being investigated.

In an April meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden said he received a commitment from Ukrainian officials that they would fire the state prosecutor. By the time Biden was supposed to announce a billion dollar loan guarantee to the Ukrainian government, the prosecutor had not been fired yet.

In recounting the story, Biden said, “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well son of a bitch got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Burisma was initially under investigation because their subsidiaries were suspected of selling gas to related companies in Ukraine at significantly discounted prices to related companies, reducing official profits.

The Kyiv Post reported that on July 7, 2016, Lutsenko held a press briefing and accused Burisma subsidiaries of conspiracy and tax evasion amounting to $70 million. However, after October 2016, the investigation stopped mentioning subsidiaries of Burisma, thereby clearing the company without ever closing the investigation.

Giuliani’s remarks on CNN Thursday have caused a separate whistleblower complaint to come under more scrunity. The still-secret “urgent” complaint was filed by a member of the U.S. intelligence community and allegedly involves Trump’s discussions with a foreign leader. The Washington Post reported that the complaint involves Ukraine, though this has not been fully confirmed.

Giuliani has taken to Twitter to argue that media is covering up Biden’s threat to withhold aid, and that the investigation has a valid basis.

“A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job,” he wrote. “Maybe if Obama did that the Biden Family wouldn’t have bilked millions from Ukraine and billions from China; being covered up by a Corrupt Media.”

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