Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed that President Trump asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry to work with Rudy Giuliani on policies related to Ukraine, but he denied doing so constituted a “shadow foreign policy,” as multiple witnesses have said Giuliani conducted.
Mulvaney said this took place during a May meeting at the White House that was attended by Perry, Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine.
“The President asked Rick Perry to work with Giuliani,” Mulvaney told reporters at the White House.
Mulvaney added he "wasn’t asked” to work with the President’s personal lawyer.
Mulvaney said the administration was “very interested in trying to get Ukraine as an energy partner,” and said that is why Perry was involved.
He characterized the President’s instruction as: "Yeah, go ahead and talk to Rudy."
Asked about witness testimony about Giuliani’s “shadow foreign policy,” Mulvaney argued that is a “pejorative” term.
“There’s not a shadow policy here. The President is entitled to have whoever he wants to work,” he argued.
Mulvaney argued it was fine for the President to have made the request of Perry because Sondland, who is testifying today on Capitol Hill, and Volker were in the room. However, Ukraine is not a member of the EU and so Sondland’s outsize role, as ambassador to the EU, has come into question during the impeachment proceedings.