To put in simply, U.S. intelligence believed Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was being played by the Russians. The White House was warned that the Russians wanted Giuliani to pass along the misinformation to President Trump. The Washington Post writes:
The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president, the former officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information and conversations.
The warning further said any information Giuliani brought back should be considered “contaminated Russia,” according to the Post.
The Post adds:
The message was, “Do what you want to do, but your friend Rudy has been worked by Russian assets in Ukraine,” this person said. Officials wanted “to protect the president from coming out and saying something stupid,” particularly since he was facing impeachment over his own efforts to strong-arm Ukraine’s president into investigating the Bidens.
But O’Brien emerged from the meeting uncertain whether he had gotten through to the president.