Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani on Thursday denied asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden moments before admitting that he had done just that.
Giuliani's comments came in a heated exchange on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" as Chris Cuomo pressed the former New York mayor over conversations he'd had with a Ukrainian official about Biden's possible role in that government's dismissal of a prosecutor who had investigated the former vice president's son, Hunter. Giuliani has repeatedly pointed to the event as a scandal, even as other Western governments also called for that prosecutor's dismissal and no evidence has indicated Biden's move was inappropriate. That prosecutor was replaced by Yuriy Lutsenko, who would later drop an investigation into a company in which Hunter Biden was involved.
"Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?" Cuomo asked Giuliani.
"No, actually I didn't. I asked the Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton, for which there is already a court finding," Giuliani responded.
"You never asked anything about Hunter Biden? You never asked anything about Joe Biden and his role with the prosecutor?" Cuomo asked.
"The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko, who was appointed, dismissed the case," Giuliani said.
"So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?" Cuomo pressed.
"Of course I did," Giuliani said.
When asked about his contradicting answer, Giuliani said he "didn't ask" for Biden to be investigated specifically, but asked Ukraine "to look into the allegations that related to my client, which tangentially involved Joe Biden in a massive bribery scheme."
As CNN previously reported, the complaint has led to a standoff between Congress and acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who has refused to turn over the complaint to the House Intelligence Committee.