Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani stunned political and national security experts by confirming that he will appear next week at a Kremlin-sponsored conference that will also feature an appearance by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Washington Post report. This comes despite a week of frantic, emotional TV interviews in which he has tried to defend himself against allegations that his own actions set off the Ukraine scandal that has now led to impeachment proceedings against his client, President Donald Trump,
At the event, Giuliani will appear on a panel with Sergei Glazyev, Putin’s former top economic adviser, who is under sanctions by both the United States and Europe for the role he played in Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, according to the Post report. Giuliani also attended the same event in 2018 in Armenia, when he also appeared alongside Glazyev.
The revelation that Giuliani will appear at the Russia-backed conference comes just two days after the White House release of a partial transcript of a July 25 phone call between Trump and new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. In that call, the U.S. president appears to pressure Zelensky to stage a bogus “investigation” of leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, in exchange for the U.S. providing military aid to Ukraine, as The Inquisitr reported.
One day later, a declassified whistleblower complaint was also released, which contained details of the Ukraine call and attempts by White House officials to cover it up.
The aid to Ukraine is essential for that country to defend against the Russian invasion in the country’s eastern Donbass region that has resulted in a five-year war, killing 13,000 people — more than 3,300 of them civilians in Ukraine, according to United Nations figures cited in a Radio Free Europe report.
By holding back military aid to Ukraine, Trump could appear to be taking Russia’s side in the deadly conflict. Giuliani has claimed that he believes that Ukraine interfered on the side of the Democrats in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The presidential lawyer has also downplayed the Russian interference on behalf of his client documented by special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as by U.S. intelligence agencies and — as The Inquisitr reported — a Senate Intelligence Committee report.
Giuliani, according to The Washington Post, “angrily rejected” the claim that his attendance at the Russia-backed conference would be inappropriate as the Ukraine scandal swirls around both him and Trump.
“I will try to not knowingly talk to a Russian until this is all over,” Giuliani snapped, as quoted by The Post.
UPDATE: Less than an hour after this story was initially published, Giuliani told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman that he was pulling out of the Russian-backed conference, Haberman reported on her Twitter account.