Unless he backtracked on this, Giuliani said (on or before Sep 25) that:

"I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the State Department called and asked me to do it," Giuliani told Fox

And in slightly more detail:

"You know who I did it at the request of? The State Department," Giuliani told Ingraham on Tuesday night. "I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the State Department called and asked me to do it, and then I reported every conversation back to them."

The former mayor of New York then held up a cellphone, waved it around and claimed that his phone records would confirm that the State Department had directed him to contact Ukrainian officials.

"Here's why I was asked by the State Department — it's all documented. They called me to facilitate a meeting between the president and Mr. Zelensky — to help do that," Giuliani said, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "I met with the representative of Mr. Zelensky. We never discussed any kind of pressure about a criminal case. We never discussed any kind of quid pro quo or pressure."

Has the State Department confirmed or denied having asked Giuliani to do this? And if they have confirmed it, did give any reasons why Giuliani had to become an unofficial diplomatic channel meant to "facilitate" a meeting between the two presidents?

In the same article only a vague statement from the State Department is reproduced:

"Mr. Giuliani is a private citizen and acts in a personal capacity as a lawyer for President Trump," a State Department spokesperson told The Hill. "He does not speak on behalf of the U.S. government."

This of course is true, but it neither confirms nor (really) denies Giuliani's claim. Has the State Department said anything else on the matter subsequently?

Apparently there was no other official statement until now, but there have been some developments:

  • Giuliani named Kurt Volker as his main contact in the State Department on this matter

  • Volker, who apparently worked as a special envoy to Ukraine on "a part-time volunteer" basis, resigned

  • It looks like Volker is going to be interviewed by one of the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry on Oct 3

I can't find the actual statement, but only this rather weird paraphrase from Sky on what the State Department said about the latter event:

The US State Department had no immediate comment on Mr Volker's resignation, saying only that he put Mr Giuliani in touch with an aide to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

  • If the State Department asked him (which Rudolf alleges), wouldn't that mean that he was speaking on behalf of the U.S. government? So doesn't that contradict the what Rudi said?
    – JJJ
    Sep 29, 2019 at 22:34
  • @JJJ: It depends what "facilitate" means. It doesn't mean he represented ("speaking on behalf of") the Department, methinks. So it sounds like a non-denial denial to me. That's why I want to know if anything more came out of this story. Sep 29, 2019 at 22:47
  • That makes sense, I guess it's waiting for secretary Pompeo to testify before Congress. I don't think the State Department is going to put out multiple statements on this.
    – JJJ
    Sep 29, 2019 at 22:51
  • 4
    I wonder if "this is completely illegal, we want nothing to do with it, if you want this done why don't you do it yourself?" qualifies as the State Department "requesting" that he speak with Ukraine. Sep 30, 2019 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


Has the State Department confirmed or denied having asked Giuliani to do this? And if they have confirmed it, did give any reasons why Giuliani had to become an unofficial diplomatic channel meant to "facilitate" a meeting between the two presidents?

Not really the State Department, but still relevant enough to the second part of your question, I think. The New York Times reported on Kurt D. Volker's testimony before House committees. Kurt Volker is an American diplomat who was the United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations from July 2017 till 27 September 2019. The quotes below represent his account, first through the NYT's lens and later in his own testimony. While he no longer serves in the aforementioned role at the State Department, his account is based on the time during which he served in that role and he has first hand accounts of meeting with Giuliani and the Ukrainians, seemingly acting as an intermediary.

The NYT writes (selectively quoting relevant parts from the NYT article):

While Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine have been known, Mr. Volker’s account to House committees conducting an impeachment inquiry provides new details about how the president’s personal lawyer inserted himself into foreign policy to benefit Mr. Trump politically. Not only was Mr. Giuliani meeting with Ukrainian officials, he was effectively dictating the contents of a statement being negotiated by State Department officials with a foreign power.

He agreed to connect Mr. Giuliani with senior Ukrainian officials at the request of the Ukrainians in hopes of convincing the former New York mayor that Mr. Zelensky and the new government were reformers worthy of American support.

At a breakfast with Mr. Giuliani on July 19, Mr. Volker testified, he warned him against the political conspiracy theories the former mayor was pursuing related to Mr. Biden. He said he told Mr. Giuliani that “it is not credible to me that former Vice President Biden would have been influenced in any way by financial or personal motives in carrying out his duties as vice president.” While Ukrainians may have acted for corrupt motives, he said, he did not believe Mr. Biden had.

Relevant quotes from testimony (again selective quotes, read full testimony for more context and a coherent story):

In May, 2019, learned that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to look into these accusations. I reached out to brief him before his visit - specifically, to tell him that Lutsenko is not credible and will be replaced once a new government takes office , and that I had met with President-elect Zelenskyy when he was a candidate, had subsequently been in touch with his advisors, and was convinced that he was sincerely committed to reform and to fighting corruption in Ukraine.

At the end of that meeting, I had a private conversation with President Zelenskyy, in which I explained that believed that Mayor Giuliani continues to have a negative view of Ukraine based on assertions of actions that happened in 2016, and that this viewpoint is likely making its way to the President. I made clear that Mayor Giuliani does not speak for the U . S . government, but is a private citizen and the President' s personal attorney

On July 10 2019, met a close aide to President Zelenskyy, Andrey , for coffee in Washington DC. We followed up the conversation about Mayor Giuliani, and he asked me to connect to him with Mayor Giuliani. agreed to reach out to Mayor Giuliani and ask if he would agree to be connected.

I did so July 10 writing to Mayor Giulianito seek to get together, and finally on July 19 meeting for breakfast for a longer discussion.

I followed up on the request from Andrey Yermak to be connected to Mayor Giuliani directly , and the Mayor said he would indeed like to connect.

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