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Rudy Giuliani claims he's withholding text messages that will 'protect' him in the Ukraine scandal

Rudy Giuliani claims he's holding onto text messages that prove the State Department backed his activity in Ukraine and that he'll eventually use them to "protect" himself.

President Trump's personal lawyer spoke to CNN after a whistleblower complaint accused him of being a "central figure" in soliciting Ukraine's help in interfering in the 2020 election by investigating former Vice President Joe Biden. The complaint also alleges U.S. officials were "deeply concerned” by Giuliani's "circumvention of national security decisionmaking" in speaking to Ukrainian officials, and it says State Department officials had to speak to Giuliani to "contain the damage" he was doing to national security.

Giuliani denied this, telling CNN "at no time did the State Department in communication with me ever relay any of that information you're talking about." He also claimed he has a "nice little trail" of text messages with Kurt Volker, U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, to back up his account, as well as five or six texts that prove the State Department was signing off on what he was doing.

"I'm going to use them to protect myself if and when I need them," Giuliani said of these supposed texts.

Giuliani shared one text with CNN showing Volker connecting him with an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The State Department last month confirmed Volker did so, but said Giuliani is just a "private citizen and acts in a personal capacity."

Giuliani also referenced holding onto texts in an interview with The Atlantic, again claiming State Department officials asked for his help in Ukraine while saying, "Why did they send me a bunch of friendly text messages reaching out for my help, thanking me for my help?” This time, he told The Atlantic the texts would be released "in a longer story."