Russian state TV airs Rudy Giuliani interview after Trump lawyer spreads Ukraine conspiracy theories

Pro-Putin network supports anti-Biden investigation by right-wing news channel

Conrad Duncan
Monday 16 December 2019 17:51 GMT
Rudy Giuliani gives interview on Russian state TV

Russian state-run TV has aired Rudy Giuliani’s interview with a pro-Trump US news channel in which he promoted widely-debunked conspiracy theories to undermine the impeachment inquiry into the president.

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer appeared on the right-wing channel One America News (OAN) on Sunday to share what he claimed was evidence of interference by Ukraine in the 2016 election and corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

On Monday, segments from the interview were broadcast on Russia-1, a TV channel owned by the Russian government which has been accused of bias towards Vladimir Putin.

Fiona Hill, a senior National Security Council official, testified in November that the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election was a “fictional narrative” spread by Russian security services.

In November, Ukraine's current prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, said he had no knowledge of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.

Security experts have warned conspiracy theories spread by Mr Giuliani and Mr Trump have helped Russia by damaging America's relationship with Ukraine.

OAN sued journalist Rachel Maddow in September for more than $10m (£7.5m) after the MSNBC host described the network as “paid Russian propaganda”.

The right-wing channel has been one of the most consistent media supporters of Mr Trump’s presidency and has repeatedly reported fake news stories, including conspiracy theories about billionaire George Soros and Hillary Clinton.

Mr Giuliani’s efforts to find damaging information on the Bidens in Ukraine has become a central part of the impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump.

The president is accused of withholding congressionally-approved US military aid and a White House visit to Ukraine to force its leader into announcing an investigation into Mr Biden, his 2020 election rival.

Although Mr Trump has denied any wrongdoing, several high-profile US diplomats and foreign service officials have testified about their concerns over his conduct.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on impeaching the president this week.

Mr Trump has repeatedly claimed that Mr Biden was involved with corruption and called for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son.

However, while Mr Biden did work to get the prosecutor general Viktor Shokin fired, the then-vice president was not alone in his efforts.

In fact, the Obama administration as a whole, along with the International Monetary Fund and Ukranian activists, had made it clear that they wanted Mr Shokin removed.

There is also no public evidence to show Hunter Biden was ever under investigation.

On Sunday, senator Lindsey Graham invited Mr Giuliani to testify to the Senate on the evidence he has supposedly found in Ukraine.

“Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I'll be glad to talk to you,” Mr Graham said on CBS’ Face the Nation.

“If Rudy wants to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify about what he found, he's welcome to do so.”

It is unclear if Mr Giuliani would testify under oath about his allegations against the Bidens.

In October, the Trump lawyer defied a congressional subpoena asking him to hand over documents related to his work on Ukraine.

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