‘Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up’: Bolton’s war with Trump lawyer over Ukraine scandal revealed

‘I’m not part of whatever drug deal they’re cooking up,’ rages Iraq war hawk

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 15 October 2019 17:10 BST
Donald Trump says he doesn't know if Rudy Giuliani is still his attorney

John Bolton, the former US national security adviser, described Donald Trump’s personal lawyer as “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up” during an alleged campaign to coerce political help from Ukraine, according to reports.

Mr Bolton was angry about Rudy Giuliani’s role in the apparent effort to persuade Kiev to investigate Mr Trump’s political opponents, congressional impeachment investigators were told on Monday.

In another conversation he is said to have told a top adviser that “I am not part of whatever drug deal” other Trump allies were “cooking up”.

Both The New York Times and The Washington Post carried reports about what Fiona Hill, the White House’s former Russia adviser, told the House impeachment inquiry. The newspapers based their reports on the accounts of people familiar with her testimony.

Ms Hill was reportedly told by Mr Bolton to notify White House lawyers of the shadow foreign policy being operated in Ukraine by Mr Giuliani and Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the EU.

She added that the pair were apparently coordinating their efforts with Mick Mulvaney, Mr Trump’s acting chief of staff.

Mr Trump became embroiled in the impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower came forward with details of a 25 July phone call the president held with Volodymyr Zelensky, his opposite number in Ukraine, in which he appeared to threaten to withhold military aid if Kiev did not re-open an investigation into Joe Biden.

Mr Biden is a leading Democratic candidate to challenge Mr Trump for the presidency in 2020.

Three congressional committees have opened investigations into the president’s attempts to push Ukraine to dig up dirt on Mr Biden and his son Hunter, who had business dealings in the country.

Mr Giuliani faces a Tuesday deadline to produce documents subpoenaed by the House intelligence committee. The deadline loomed as the former New York City mayor told Reuters he had been paid $500,000 (£394,000) for work he carried out for Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman who was reportedly part of the campaign of pressure on Kiev and who was arrested last week on campaign finance charges.

On Tuesday, the former Republican presidential candidate responded to Mr Bolton, calling him “bitter”. According to NBC’s White House correspondent, Kristen Welker, he said: “I’m very disappointed that his bitterness drives him to attack a friend falsely. It’s really ironic that John Bolton is calling anyone else a hand grenade, when John is described by many as an atomic bomb.”

Mr Trump has derided the impeachment probe as a “scam”, and tweeted at the weekend that “Democrats are going to lose a lot of House Seats because of their Fraudulent use of Impeachment”.

He also threw his support behind Mr Giuliani, who he described on Saturday as “a great gentleman”, and tweeted that he “may seem a little rough around the edges sometimes, but he is also a great guy and wonderful lawyer”.

Additional reporting by agencies

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