Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani said indicted former associate Lev Parnas told a “despicable lie” in claiming that Mr. Giuliani informed Attorney General William P. Barr about his efforts to encourage Ukraine to start a corruption probe of Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden.
“I have never spoken to Attorney General Barr about this investigation, ever,” Mr. Giuliani told Fox News host Laura Ingraham late Monday. “I told Parnas several times that I would make sure I would never go to the attorney general with it, so I wouldn’t compromise him. That is a flat out, absolute, despicable lie. I am very disappointed and hurt by him.”
Mr. Parnas, who was aiding Mr. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine, has been indicted on campaign-finance charges. He is seeking a special prosecutor for his case, saying Mr. Barr has a conflict of interest.
In multiple interviews in the past week, Mr. Parnas said many top administration officials knew about their push for a Ukrainian corruption probe of Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, who held a lucrative post with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy firm.
The president’s impeachment case stems from Democrats’ allegations that he withheld temporarily U.S. military aid to Ukraine while pressing its president for a Biden probe.
Mr. Giuliani, who is a godfather to Mr. Parnas’ child, said he is “heartbroken” by his former associate turning on the president and his team.
“Obviously, I was misled by him. I feel very bad,” Mr. Giuliani said. “The man is a demonstrated liar. He didn’t just lie — he lied stupidly. A stupid lie is when there’s a tape recording that can contradict you. A stupid lie is when there is a passport that can contradict you.”
He said Mr. Parnas lied about being in a meeting with Mr. Giuliani and others at the White House in which the president allegedly deputized the Soviet-born Mr. Parnas to be his representative in Ukraine.
Mr. Giuliani also refuted the accusation from Mr. Parnas that he was involved in surveillance of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
“I can definitely tell you I didn’t,” he told Ms. Ingraham. “In fact, she directed the surveillance of me which nobody is investigating, and of [journalist John] Solomon, and of — and of your colleague, Sean Hannity. And of Donald Trump Jr. Nobody is investigating that.”
He said he plans to start a podcast to expose corruption by the Bidens and other Democrats, because the mainstream media won’t do it.