Giuliani at the time was the personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump and was trying to dig up the dirt from the 2020 election opponent of Trump Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Despite the reported warning, Giuliani continued on his mission to find damaging information about the Bidens, met with Kremlin-linked associates trying to influence the 2020 election, and publicly broadcast misleading and unsubstantiated allegations that were part of it. a disinformation campaign in Russia.
Sources familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that Trump’s White House had been warned that some of the information passed to Giuliani came from foreign intelligence services, and some members of Congress were also warned by FBI counterintelligence.
Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, denied that Giuliani had been warned about the Russian intelligence effort.
“This story is totally false according to Mayor Giuliani. He never received such a briefing,” Costello told CNN.
An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment for the newspaper.
Giuliani has been the subject of an investigation into his activities in Ukraine, including whether he had carried out illegal lobbying for Ukrainian officials as he continued an investigation related to the current President Biden, he said. CNN reported.
Ron Johnson Briefing
The Post reported that the FBI also gave a “defensive briefing” last August to Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who, as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee at the time, was investigating the Bidens for the Hunter Biden’s role on the board. of a Ukrainian energy company.
In a statement, Johnson confirmed to CNN that he had received a defensive briefing from the FBI.
“Regarding reports that I received an FBI briefing advising me that I was a target of Russian disinformation, I can confirm that I received such a briefing in August 2020,” the Republican said of Wisconsin. “I asked the briefers what specific evidence they had regarding this warning, and they could not provide me with anything other than the general warning. Without specific information, I felt that the briefing was totally unnecessary and unnecessary (since I was fully aware of the dangers of Russian Disinformation).
“Because there was no substance in the briefing, and because it followed the production and leaking of a bogus intelligence product by Democratic leaders, I suspected that the briefing was being given to be used at a later date for the purpose that it is now used: to provide biased media an opportunity to falsely accuse me of being a tool of Russia despite the warnings, “Johnson added.” To date , I was not told who ordered the briefing completely unnecessary – but politically useful for my opponents. “
Democrats warned in a letter to the FBI last year that Johnson was receiving information from entities linked to Russia as part of a disinformation campaign targeting Biden. Johnson and Grassley disputed this, accusing Democrats of spreading disinformation.
Kremlin influence campaign
CNN previously reported that Giuliani and other allies of the former president publicly aligned themselves with figures linked to the Kremlin, even as the US government warned they were spreading lies.
The U.S. intelligence community had previously singled out Derkach for helping Moscow’s efforts to try to weaken Biden in the election. Giuliani had worked with Derkach to release anti-Biden material during Trump’s first impeachment trial.
Democrats also accused Derkach of sending information to Johnson, who denied receiving anything from Derkach and instead accused Democrats of spreading Russian disinformation themselves with the allegation.
“A key part of Moscow’s strategy during this election cycle has been its use of Russian intelligence proxies to convey influential narratives – including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden – to organizations media, American officials and prominent American figures, some close to former President Trump and his administration, “the report said.
This story has been updated to include the reaction of Giuliani’s lawyer.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Paula Reid, Marshall Cohen, Devan Cole, Zachary Cohen, Erica Orden, and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.