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Haley: Giuliani should’ve been named ‘special envoy’ to Ukraine

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday said that she thought the administration could have handled Rudy Giuliani‘s work with Ukraine better by appointing him as a special envoy to Ukraine.  

“I think it could have been handled better. I mean I think they should have named him the special envoy so that everyone within the administration knew what his role was,” Haley said in a Thursday appearance on CNN. 

Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the Trump administration’s contacts with Ukraine, the issue at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry launched earlier this year. Multiple Trump administration officials have testified about Giuliani’s role in contacting and meeting with Ukrainian officials. 

Former special envoy Kurt Volker introduced Giuliani and a top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Andrey Yermak, in July, according to a text message Giuliani tweeted. He has confirmed that he met with other top officials in an effort to uncover information about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

In sworn testimony George Kent, deputy assistant secretary at the State Department, said that he believed Giuliani was “looking to dig up political dirt against a potential rival in the next election cycle.”

Several GOP lawmakers have also expressed concerns about the “shadow” diplomacy work by Giuliani in Ukraine, including Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and others.

David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, testified in a closed-door interview with lawmakers that Giuliani was part of a shadow campaign by Trump to oust Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Yovanovitch is scheduled to appear in a public hearing on Friday morning. 

Haley pushed back on whether Trump’s actions rise to the level of impeachment.

“It’s hard for me to impeach a president. It is the highest level of punishment that you can possibly do. When an investigation didn’t happen, and the aid flowed, I just don’t see how that rises to the worst possible crime,” Haley told CNN.

 

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