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Rudy Giuliani rants about money, Middle East and Bidens in accidental call to reporter

President Trump's attorney accuses the former vice president of interfering in Ukraine: 'Biden has been been trading in on his public office since he was a senator'

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 25 October 2019 23:09 BST
Related video: Rudy Giuliani gives interview on Russian state TV
Related video: Rudy Giuliani gives interview on Russian state TV (AP)

President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani can be heard discussing Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, former secretary of state John Kerry and a need for cash on two voicemails accidentally left on a reporter's mobile phone.

Mr Giuliani had reportedly "butt dialled" NBC reporter Rich Shapiro when Mr Giuliani was in the middle of a conversation with another man about business in the Middle East, a few weeks after he had accidentally called the same reporter, leaving a voicemail attacking the Bidens while in conversation with another person.

The conversations in the voicemails continue the accusations and conspiracies that Mr Giuliani has made in bizarre appearances with the press, including accusing the former vice president of preventing an investigation into a Ukrainian energy company because his son sat on its board.

At one point, he says that "they don't want to investigate because he's protected, so we gotta force them to do it".

Then Mr Giuliani appears to discuss the impeachment investigation, which "will affect the 2020 election".

In one voicemail, he implies that he's being targeted by powerful people for his accusations against the Bidens.

"The minute you touch on one of the protected people, they go crazy. They come after you," Mr Giuliani can be heard saying in a September voicemail.

An unidentified man replies, "You got the truth on your side."

Mr Giuliani says "it's very powerful."

Congress has launched an impeachment probe investigating Mr Trump's alleged abuses of power in his dealings with Ukraine, which include a phone call with the country's president that appears to offer military aid in exchange for dirt on Mr Biden, potentially his Democratic rival in the 2020 election.

Two of Mr Giuliani's associates recently pleaded not guilty to donating to campaigns in an attempt to influence US officials in the interest of foreign agents.

In the September conversation, Mr Giuliani tells the other person that "there's plenty more to come out" about the Bidens.

"He did the same thing in China. And he tried to do it in Kazakhstan and in Russia," he said. "It's a sad situation. You know how they get? Biden has been been trading in on his public office since he was a senator."

Mr Giuliani continued: "When he became vice president, the kid decided to go around the world and say, 'Hire me because I'm Joe Biden's son.' And most people wouldn't hire him because he had a drug problem."

Mr Giuliani also brought up Mr Kerry's stepson, Christopher Heinz, an early business partner of Mr Biden's son before cutting ties when he entered Ukraine.

"Secretary of State and the vice president for the price of one," Mr Giuliani can be heard saying.

Though the audio is difficult to discern through muffled voices in a second voicemail from earlier this month, Mr Giuliani discusses his apparent business dealings with Bahrain.

Mr Giuliani once met with the Persian Gulf nation's King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa, and the former New York mayor told The Daily Beast that he planned to advise the country's police force on counter-terrorism measures through his security consulting firm.

One of Mr Trump's donors — Imaad Shah Zuberi, who gave nearly $1m to the president's inauguration committee — was recently indicted for election fraud for funnelling millions of dollars from Bahrain. Among Mr Zuberi's lobbying schemes was a plan to lift sanctions in Bahrain, where he falsely said his firm was investing in a resort. But he didn't disclose that he was using funds from a Bahrain national to make the argument.

In the voicemail, Mr Giuliani says that "Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case 'cause he didn't do any due diligence." It's unclear who that "Charles" is.

He also says he's going to "call Robert again tomorrow" and asks "Is Robert around?"

The voice responds, "He's in Turkey."

Giuliani tells him, "The problem is we need some money."

Following a nine-second pause in their conversation, Giuliani clarifies that "we need a few hundred thousand."

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According to NBC News, that "Robert" is likely to be Robert Mangas, a lawyer at a firm where Mr Giuliani once worked that was also registered to lobby the US on behalf of Turkey.

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