“It’s very, very unfair. Rudy is a patriot who loves this country,” the former president told Maria Bartiromo on Thursday on Fox Business.
Federal investigators on Wednesday executed a search warrant on Mr Giuliani’s Manhattan office and apartment, seizing cell phones and computers. The raid is believed to be part of an investigation into whether Mr Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukraine in 2019.
On Thursday, Mr Trump seemed eager to shift the focus to other figures, particularly Democrats.
“I don’t know what they’re looking for or what they’re doing,” the former president said. “They say it had to do with filings of various papers and lobbying files. Well, did Hunter file? Did Biden file? Because they did a lot of work with other countries. To the best of everyone’s knowledge, they didn’t file.”
Mr Trump repeatedly called Mr Giuliani a “great patriot” and declared him “the greatest mayor in the history of New York.”
“Rudy loves this country so much,” he said. “It is so terrible when you see the things going on in our country with the corruption and the problems and then they go after Rudy Giuliani. It’s very sad, actually.”
Mr Giuliani served as Mr Trump’s personal lawyer during his presidency. During that time, he and the former president pressured Ukrainian officials to open investigations into Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. Democrats said the effort was designed to hurt the reputation of Joe Biden – who eventually became Mr Trump’s election opponent – and it led to Mr Trump’s first impeachment.
(Both Bidens have denied any wrongdoing, and neither one has been charged with a crime.)
Now prosecutors are investigating whether Mr Giuliani’s communications between the two countries not only served Mr Trump’s political interests, but the interests of Ukraininan oligarchs. It is illegal to lobby the US government on behalf of another country without disclosing it to the Justice Department.
Mr Giuliani has not been charged with any crime, and his lawyer has called the FBI raid a stunt to create “bad publicity.”
“This is totally unnecessary,” attorney Bob Costello told Fox News, saying it was designed to make Mr Giuliani “look like he’s some sort of criminal.”
Mr Trump’s defense was more full-throated.
“Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot,” he repeated on Thursday. “He does these things, he just loves his country, and they raid his apartment. It’s so unfair.”
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