Donald Trump’s attorney general has repeatedly briefed the president that Rudy Giuliani has become a liability to his administration, it has been reported, as opposition to the former New York mayor continues to swell within the White House.
Mr Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, has become increasingly embroiled in the impeachment proceedings against Mr Trump – and is accused of running a shadow foreign policy operation out of the White House despite not having been appointed to serve in a government position.
In one instance the president is said to have been directly told by Mr Barr that he was not being well served by his lawyer.
Mr Giuliani has repeatedly been forced to challenge assertions he will be made a scapegoat for the president’s dealings with Ukraine, telling Fox News last month that Mr Trump would not “throw him under the bus”.
He went on to claim he had “insurance” in the event the president did turn on him – a move Mr Trump was said to be furious over.
However while Mr Giuliani has been reportedly relieved of his main media duties as one of the president’s foremost cheerleaders, public signs of a schism between Mr Trump and his lawyer are yet to appear.
It comes as the lawyer returns from his trip to Ukraine – a visit expected to form the basis of a report for the justice department on allegations of misconduct he is purported to have uncovered.
While the exact details of what Mr Giuliani is to allege are unknown, he did spend much of the week discussing Ukraine on Twitter – making claims dismissed by many as conspiracy theories about the relationship between Kiev and the Obama administration.
On Sunday Matt Gaetz, a Republican congressman and avid supporter of the president who argued his case throughout the impeachment hearings in the house, called Mr Giuliani’s decision to visit the country while he was under such scrutiny “deeply weird”.
Trump donor and supporter Dan Eberhart meanwhile has likened the move to a “murder suspect returning to the crime scene to live-stream themselves moon-dancing. It’s brazen on a galactic level”
However the president appears to have remained open-minded on Mr Giuliani’s gambit.
“He’s going to make a report,” Mr Trump said. “I think to the attorney general and to Congress. He says he has a lot of good information.
“I have not spoken to him about that information yet… I hear he has found plenty.”