Giuliani`s fiery interview became a big hit in Ukraine. President Trump's personal attorney and close friend said on "Fox News Night" that he will not be traveling to Ukraine as previously announced. Former Republican mayor of New York City explained that he believed he would be "walking into a group of people that are enemies of the president, and in some cases, enemies of the United States and in one case, an already convicted person who has been found to be involved in assisting the Democrats with the 2016 investigation".
"Сensor.Net" met Mr.Giuliani in Paris last Wednesday to interview him in details about his reasons for not coming to Ukraine. Other topics in conversation included newly appointed Head of President Zelenskiy` Administration, President`s relations with one of Ukrainian top-businessmen Ihor Kolomoiskyi, Giuliani`s opinion on former USA Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch and many more.
- Mr.Giuliani, so what was the reason behind your plan of meeting with the President?
- The reason I wanted to meet with the president was to say "Mr. President, please, don't let them talk you out of these investigations. Please go forward with it. We've got to get over once and for all. And a critical piece in putting together the picture of how they developed these false charges on President Trump is going to be this. There are other pieces (including lot of stuff done wrong in our country and in the UK, Italy and Cyprus) - it's not just Ukraine! But this is an important piece.
And then I asked for a meeting but what I got instead was the leak to the press that Leshchenko and somebody else were advising him to drop the investigation and not to meet with me. And when I checked on that (I actually had not known who they were), I was told by people in my country that I shouldn't go, because it was a trap that was being worked out with democrats, people loyal to Soros. And now I see that he's put around them - Kolomoyskiy's lawyer and a couple of guys who work with Soros. And the message that I would send to him was: "It's not a good idea to surround yourself with enemies of President Trump". It's one thing to surround yourself with decent people who may have a different political ideology - but another thing is to surround yourself with a guy who was the lawyer for this major oligarch who has reputed to have taken billions from your bank and then has some kind of unholy alliance between Soros and that Embassy that has to be broken.
- But you may know that on the day of his inauguration President Zelenskiy met the American delegation (led by minister Perry) and asked the United States for support - especially in the field of strengthening the sanctions against Russia.
- And he also was enthusiastic about doing full scale reforms and getting Ukraine closer toward European values and democratic transparency. And here we want to ask you: will President Trump believe President Zelenskiy? Or will he prefer to wait for actions, not words?
- I cannot speak for the President, I'm just his personal lawyer. But my advice is: let's see what he does. Words are cheap - other people have said that. And while I think those were very good words, I agree with them - I find some actions very contradictory. I think that's important that you both say the right thing and then do it. So let's see.
But you know that's all politics and diplomacy. My only concern professionally is that the investigation not be interfered. And I haven't heard him say that. What should be so hard about saying: "Someone will investigate that"? Or: "It will be given to this person, we're gonna investigate it fully and let the chips fall where they may". That's easy to say. Come let's see if he does it.
- On the other hand, President Zelenskiy has recently appointed Mr.Bogdan, who is Mr.Kolomoyskiy's lawyer, the head of the Presidential Administration. And according to various media sources, President Zelenskiy was strongly advised against this choice by minister Perry and the US special Envoy Kurt Walker. And you – while in your interview on FoxNews - you didn`t specifically mention Mr. Bogdan, you still mentioned – let me quote you: "one particular oligarch who is quite corrupt".
So what do you think about this appointment? Does it mean that President Zelenskiy's actions contradict what he is saying?
- The simple answer is yes. I mean, if you're going to clean up the power that people have over that government for their own personal benefit, you can't take someone that's associated with a person who's one of the most prominent people accused of it.
But I'm still waiting to hear him say that the investigation is going forward. And that it's going to be full and complete and they're not going to be afraid to do it. That's all I want. The rest of it is up to the President and the Secretary of State: what they conclude. I'm not involved in it. I have my own opinions about it but that doesn't govern anything because I'm not with the government.
I mean it's sensible for the President of Ukraine to work out a strong, good and honest relationship with the US. And for the United States, that we have a strong and honest relationship with Ukraine. You are important for us, and we're an important country to you.
- Well, about 2 years ago, while visiting Ukraine, you said that President Trump asked you to say to Ukrainians: "Make Ukraine great again!".
- Yes, that's true.
- But tell us how one starts getting rid of the oligarch with whom there are so many connections in one`s business or artistic career? How would you do it?
- How would I do it? I would do it in a day! I did it in New York. I changed the way in which we give out very lucrative contracts for investing New York City's money. New York City pension fund is one of the biggest investors in the United States. All the Wall Street firms wanted it and usually the ones who got it were the ones that were favorable to the mayor. I changed that. I set up a committee and we rotated it, so everybody got their fair share. And if anybody got caught doing anything: given a bribe, paying money - they'd be prosecuted and put in jail.
I had a buildings department where when you get a building inspector to a certain number, the inspectors would ask for money and sometimes it go pretty high up. I had them all prosecuted, I had them all removed - 40 or 50 of them.
After a while people see that. They say "Oh I'm not going to do this, this guy is serious. He's not just talking about being honest when you're not, he puts you in jail!". And that gets more attention after a while.
And there's no reason why these oligarchs can't do business. I have nothing against very rich people. I think they're largely very hard working people and they make jobs for the people. But they could make plenty of money honestly. And in some cases, you know, it's a question of whether there were two billion or three billion. None of them need the corruption, it becomes the way of life! Corruption is not necessary for the running of a government. You can run a government perfectly without it and people can make a lot of money without it.
- Whatever the course of President Zelenskiy` actions will be, the US will now regroup in Ukraine. And they may start with the new ambassador. By the way, what about the ex-ambassador Yovanovitch, why did she leave the country? And what will be her further career?
- Somehow she'll go working for Soros, directly or indirectly. All I can tell you is the things I heard about her. Which is that her embassy was involved heavily in finding dirty information and creating it on people in the Trump campaign. That they were heavily involved in helping Soros (including getting a case dismissed that would hurt him), and George Kent and her were the deputy. They actually put together that whole Special Prosecutor thing. And they put that together and then used it as a way to protect Soros, which is a horrible thing to do. If we are lecturing you on corruption we can't have our own corrupt person sitting in the background that we're doing the bidding of.
- So, any hint about the name of a new ambassador? Or will that be a terminal attorney? Many people in Kyiv are waiting for the decision.
- It takes a little while. You have to go through the people. Then also you've got to be patient because they have to go to the Senate confirmation. It'll take a while but somebody will be named, I'm sure of it. In the next couple of weeks.
- Is it true that at some moment Mr. Vice President Pence was planned to participate in President Zelensky’s inauguration, but later his arrival was canceled?
- I don`t know that. One of the things suggested was that since Penсе didn't go to the inauguration or Secretary of State didn't go, they picked to Rick Perry. I think that was not meant that way. Rick Perry is a good choice, because he's the Secretary of Energy. There's no other area where we have more involvement with Ukraine. And there is an area where we can help Ukraine much more than energy, help you become more independent of Russia. And Perry has a very big agenda to do that. He's done it in Poland and I think he'd like to do the same thing in Ukraine. So, I think that was a good choice of someone to go. Аnd it was a fairly low key inauguration. Got moved up very quickly at the end, so I don't think that was meant as an insult.
- Getting back to the newly elected Ukrainian president, with whom of President Zelenskiy team would President Trump and his administration preferred to deal with? Obviously, there are some suspicious figures around him. But being a very experienced politician, you know that in the huge system of power like that there are various towers. And some towers may be cleaner than others. So maybe using these "cleaner" towers would be a right way of establishing effective relations with the newly elected president?
- It would be. Let's see what happens.
- Many people in Ukraine are wondering about the nature of your connections with Mr. Kernes, the mayor of Kharkiv. Because he does not have an exactly clean reputation in Ukraine. But you visited him in Kharkiv. And we'd like to know what's connecting you. Could you tell us?
- My company did a study for Kharkiv. It was finished in November 2017 when I visited there and presented it as security recommendations to improve security in Kharkiv. And one of the main recommendations is to build a modern state of the art emergency management centre. Which they don't have but a lot of cities do have it. We're very good at doing it and that's what we recommended to them.
We did that study about three or four months, from the summer to the fall of 2017. And then I injured my knee, I had to put off my visit there. So I went there late November 2017. That's when I met with him for a couple of days. Mostly with his deputy mayor but with him presented the report, explained it to them, answered questions about it. And then I went to visit President Poroshenko in Kiev. I saw mayor Klitschko also and had a conversation with him about things in general but mostly to explain what I had recommended to Kharkiv. Because to build it, as I can imagine, you have to get some money from the national government. And I explained to him why they needed emergency management center and how they work, how emergency management centers work. We've done this all over the world. I've done security assessments, I'm doing it now. Mostly in South America, Eastern Europe and Middle East. But also in countries all over the world. That's my business.
- You're talking about Mr. Kolomoyskiy as of some suspicious oligarch. But we have other oligarchs as well. And now all of them would want a share of the new President. They are trying to influence him. What should we do with them?
- It's very-very simple: they should do business honestly! I know the President has said that, now he's got to follow through on it. I mean you can't condemn everybody and you can't straighten out all the mistakes of the past. But you can go forward from now and say: "Let's do business honestly. No payoffs, no hidden money, no laundered money. That's enough money to be made honestly. Let's change the nature of this country. Other countries have done that".
- By how do you clean the country if these oligarchs have their people in the Parliament, in courts, in government and media?
- You just keep pointing it out. How do you make a journey of a thousand miles? You take the first step and then you take the second step. Then there's the third step and the fourth. You take as many steps as you need to take before the airplane comes and gets you. Because the reality is - you don't have to go through all of it. You got to make examples out of the first one-two-three-four. And then they all fall into line, because they don't want to go to jail and they don't want to be exposed. They don't want their businesses to be taken away. And all of a sudden it occurs to them: "Maybe we can make a little less money. We'll still make a lot of money if we act honestly". That's how you do. It's not brain surgery. It does require a great deal of guts, lot of courage and very-very strong integrity.
- Mr. Giuliani, maybe you will change your mind and come to Ukraine?
- I would be happy to come to Ukraine!
- And then probably you could have a talk with President Zelenskiy and maybe organize the meeting of two presidents? That could be a direct blow to all the conspiracies on the matter.
- I love the country by the way. There are some countries I have strong affection for. And Ukraine is one of them.
The United States will support Ukraine, this is our course. My mission is to promote democratic reforms in Ukraine, to support true reformers, young people who are able to think and work in a modern way. Therefore, I will definitely come to Ukraine - I have friends here, I have people I know, and every day I communicate with them and we strengthen our contacts. The US should know the truth about the situation in Ukraine, we need to create a realistic policy - a policy of real and rapid changes, and I see how many friends America has in Ukraine. I wish all the success to Ukrainian politicians and the new president, Volodymyr Zelensky. I believe that Ukraine and the United States America should further strengthen the relationship in the coming years. We must help Ukraine to protect itself from aggression.
Yevhen Kuzmenko, Tetiana Nikolayenko, "Censor.NET"