Stop me before I dance again. Rick is no stranger to jail time, among other stupid things. Perry was in contact with Ukrainians during period of the infamous call because of associated energy meetings, but none of that diminishes the reality of the Trump call, the notes, the extortion, or the bribery. More Trump misdirection, although obviously, complete documentation could be released.
President Trump told House Republicans that he made his now infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry — a call Trump claimed he didn’t even want to make.
Behind the scenes: Trump made these comments during a conference call with House members on Friday, according to 3 sources on the call.
- Per the sources, Trump rattled off the same things he has been saying publicly — that his call with Zelensky was “perfect”and he did nothing wrong.
- But he then threw Perry into the mix and said something to the effect of: “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn't even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant,” one source said, recalling the president's comments. 2 other sources confirmed the first source's recollection.
Why it matters: The president's remarks suggest he may be seeking to distance himself from responsibility or recast the pretext for the call. White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Advice about this meme couldn’t have anything to do with Giuliani’s two Ukrainian fixer cronies who also sold natural gas, nosirree.
In Ukraine and other Eastern European countries, the former Texas governor often played the role of U.S. energy pitchman. He helped deliver a deal to export U.S. coal to Ukraine, and he cemented a natural gas deal with Poland that would send supplies to Ukraine and help reduce its dependence on Russian fuel.
Among Perry's numerous visits with Zelenksy and other Ukraine officials in the past year was a dinner with Zelensky, Trump’s son-law-Jared Kushner and other officials in June, according to a government photo taken by the U.S. of the event. The two met again the following month with Polish government officials to sign the energy cooperation agreement, according to news releases.
Two clients of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Ukrainian-American Trump donors Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had met with Naftogaz earlier this year to pitch themselves as suppliers of U.S. natural gas, according to media reports.
“I may or may not know anything about it,” Giuliani told POLITICO when asked if he knew about Perry’s efforts to install new people on the board.
Which two Ukrainians?