On Thursday, President Trump informed Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera that he did, indeed, send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to obtain incriminating information on his political rivals. As we all know, this is in direct contradiction of what Trump has said previously on the matter, given he was up for removal from office in part for allegations of Giuliani and associates gathering information on the Bidens. Trump then attempted to obstruct former National Security Advisor John Bolton from being subpoenaed at the hearing to testify on the matter. Just a month ago, Giuliani’s indicted associate Lev Parnas stated Trump was “aware” of everything happening in Ukraine—judging by Trump’s comments, it appears Parnas was telling the truth.
“So what has changed now?” CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale asked on CNN Thursday night. “Well, perhaps Trump just thinks impeachment’s over with, I’ve been acquitted, I can say whatever I want. Perhaps he forgot that he ever denied this. Regardless, though, what he’s saying now is the truth. He did direct Rudy to go there. We heard that not only from Rudy himself, but from testimony from others in the impeachment inquiry.”
On the panel, senior political analyst John Avalon muses that, perhaps, the “forgetting” theory is more likely. “The fact is, the president probably forgot that he lied. This is what happens when you sort of live in a web of lies—occasionally you contradict yourself.”
No matter the case, it’s clear Trump feels like he’s in the clear after the impeachment trial. Maybe he is.