Wrong number?
December 6, 2019

The House Intelligence Committee's impeachment report says that Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer and fixer, "had three phone calls with a number associated with OMB," or Office of Management and Budget, on April 23, and another 13-minute call from the OMB-associated number in August, both key moments in Trump's alleged Ukraine pressure campaign. But the phone number in question may not actually be from OMB, which froze $400 million in military and security aide for Ukraine at Trump's direction for contested reasons, the White House tells The New York Times and CNN.

The number, (202) 395-0000, is a generic White House switchboard number that could also have connected Giuliani to the White House political shop, the National Security Counsel, or a couple of other White House offices, The Wall Street Journal reports. A senior Intelligence Committee official told CNN that the committee had linked the number to OMB "based on public directories" and continues "to investigate these call records as part of our ongoing work." The White House and Giuliani have declined to turn over subpoenaed records that could "clarify" who Giuliani was talking to at the White House so frequently "at key points during the scheme," the official said.

An OMB official told the Times that a review of call logs showed no one in the office spoke to Giuliani around the times of the April and August calls, and a White House official said Giuliani didn't speak with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff and titular director of OMB. Giuliani, who says he did speak with Mulvaney, seems less sure. He told the Times on Tuesday he "never discussed military assistance" to Ukraine in his calls with OMB, adding "I am expert on so many things it could have been some very esoteric subject." On Wednesday, he texted CNN that he doesn't "remember calling OMB and not about military aid never knew anything about it." Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads