Citing conversations with four former officials familiar with the matter, the Post said U.S. intelligence agencies had warned the White House that Giuliani “was the target of a Russian intelligence influence operation” in which Trump was the intended recipient of the disinformation.
The newspaper said the warnings were “based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, which showed Giuliani was interacting with people linked to Russian intelligence services during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information. which, according to him, would expose the acts of corruption of a former vice. President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. ”
One of the former officials told the Post that the warnings led National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien to privately warn Trump that “any information reported by Giuliani from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia.”
“Do whatever you want, but your friend Rudy has been worked by Russian assets in Ukraine,” this source told the Post, summing up O’Brien’s warning to Trump.
The newspaper said officials wanted to prevent Trump from “saying something stupid,” especially since he was in the midst of a Democratic-led impeachment process in the House.
But the official said Trump “shrugged” at O’Brien’s warning, dismissing concerns about Giuliani by saying “It’s Rudy,” according to the Post, which noted that the lawyer ‘had arrived at the White House in mid-December, just after the House Judiciary Committee approved the articles of impeachment, then met with Trump a few days later in Florida.
The Post reported that former officials said Giuliani was not the subject of US intelligence while in Ukraine, but that some of his communications were captured because he was interacting with “Russian assets.” suspected ”who were being watched.
Giuliani, while trying to unearth Hunter Biden, was so determined to gather information “that [in the intelligence community who knew about it] was talking about how difficult it was going to be to try to get him arrested, to take seriously the idea that he was being used as a means of disinformation, ”a former official told the newspaper.
The Post said a number of senior administration officials knew Trump’s lawyer was targeted by the Russians, including Attorney General William Barr, FBI Director Christopher Wray and White’s attorney Pat Cipollone. .