Faced with a report from the US Treasury Department linking him to a Russian agent, Rudy Giuliani defended himself on Saturday, saying he had no idea that Ukrainian MP and conspiracy dealer Andriy Derkach was a foreign operative.
In an interview with AM Joy on Saturday, the president’s personal lawyer declined to answer interviewer Jonathan Capehart’s questions directly about how he could have been in the dark about Derkach’s political affiliations.
“You are a former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, a former mayor of New York, you have a national security company,”
Giuliani responded by telling Capehart to “calm down” and targeting Trump’s team, which is talking about members of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team “wiping” their cell phones after investigating the president’s ties to Russia.
According to the Finance Ministry, Derkach has been “an active Russian agent for more than a decade, maintaining close ties with Russian intelligence.” The director of the National Center for Counterintelligence and Security cited Derkach in August as an example of Russian-backed interference in the 2020 elections.
As The Daily Beast reported earlier, Derkach met with Giuliani in December last year to push the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election. According to the Finance Ministry, the two met. at least twice since, including an interview for Giuliani’s YouTube show for the candidates.
In an interview with MSNBC, Giuliani said he was unaware of the Treasury Department’s investigation, which sanctioned Derkach on Thursday for trying to interfere in the upcoming US election.
“I do not know what the Ministry of Finance is investigating, nor have I seen any evidence of this [Derkach] “Whether or not he’s a Russian agent,” Giuliani said. “So I don’t know anything about that.”
Giuliani called former associate Lev Parnassus – who involved the lawyer in efforts to extract information about Trump’s rivals outside Ukraine – a “liar, swindler and thief” and repeated a conspiracy theory about the intervention of billionaire philanthropist George Soros Ukraine.
Apparently disappointed with his guest, Capehart once told Giuliani that he was trying to “get you out of the weeds and conspiracy theories.”
“I’m trying to figure out how someone of your height and career – what happened to you, Mayor Giuliani?” he asked. “Why are you spreading conspiracy theories and lies and interfering in American elections?” What happened to you?”