POLITICS
25/11/2019 8:05 AM AEDT

Giuliani Walks Back Claim Of 'Insurance' Against Trump: It Was Sarcasm

The president's attorney has repeatedly suggested that he can protect himself if thrown under the bus by Trump.

Rudy Giuliani backpedaled on his claim that he has “insurance” if President Donald Trump ever throws him under the bus amid House Democrats’ escalating impeachment probe.

On Saturday, Giuliani, who serves as Trump’s personal attorney, tweeted that the remark was “sarcastic” and claimed that it “relates to the files in my safe” on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, whom Giuliani has targeted with unfounded corruption allegations. 

Giuliani has on two separate occasions made vague references to an insurance policy, most recently in an interview with Fox News’ Ed Henry hours before he posted his tweet.

Asked whether he was communicating with Trump as impeachment proceedings ramp up with seemingly damning witness testimonies about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, Giuliani said he is in frequent contact with the president.

“You can assume that I talk with him early and often and have a very, very good relationship with him, and all these comments ― which are totally insulting ― I mean, I’ve seen things written like he’s gonna throw me under the bus,” he said. “When they say that, I say, ‘He isn’t, but I have insurance.’”

In a similar comment earlier this month, Giuliani told the Guardian that he has “very, very good insurance” and “all my hospital bills will be paid.”

His lawyer, Robert Costello, interjected during the interview asserting that it was a joke.

Giuliani has become a key figure in impeachment proceedings as State Department officials have mentioned his name several times in their testimonies on whether Trump engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

At the center of the inquiry is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he pressed Zelensky to assist Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr with a probe of the Bidens, based on the unsubstantiated corruption accusations. The request raised concerns that Trump was looking to handicap the Democratic presidential candidate who has emerged as Trump’s political rival.

At the time of the call, American military aid was being withheld from Ukraine, spurring questions over a possible quid pro quo.

However, Giuliani’s tweeted claim that he possesses unreleased documents showing malfeasance on Biden’s part further muddied the waters, given Trump’s expressed interest in discovering wrongdoing by the former vice president.

In October, Giuliani defied a subpoena from House lawmakers seeking documents pertaining to his involvement in the Ukraine scandal. In a letter to Congress, Giuliani’s attorney at the time, Jon Sale, contended that it was “beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry,” and bashed the impeachment probe as “unconstitutional, baseless, and illegitimate.”