Update (11/13/19): ProPublica reporter J. David McSwane stated that both The Hill and John Solomon denied funding Giuliani’s travel:
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, worked closely with two now-indicted Soviet-born con men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine and to spread conspiracy theories undermining investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Conservative columnist John Solomon worked with the three men to inject this conspiracy theory into right-wing media through his column at The Hill and his repeated appearances on Fox News. And now, according to a recent report by ProPublica, it appears Solomon returned the favor by helping Giuliani ink a podcast deal with The Hill -- a deal that may have been so close to execution that the newspaper paid for Giuliani to take a trip to London in late June with Parnas and Fruman.
Less than four months after Solomon’s reporting, Giuliani and The Hill actively pursued a deal to create a podcast together, with Solomon acting as an intermediary, according to emails obtained by ProPublica. The project, which never came to fruition for unclear reasons, featured the former New York City mayor interviewing various public figures. The emails include recordings of lengthy chats with the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, and a retired Marine Corps general named James T. Conway.
The article went on to state that “in late June … the president’s personal attorney went to a London cigar shop with Parnas and his partner Igor Fruman” and emailed a photo of himself with Parnas, Fruman, and a third unnamed associate to Solomon, under the subject line “Smoked Filled Room Pre-Game Ritual.”
While Giuliani denied to ProPublica that he was ever paid for his podcast work, CNN’s KFile reported in October that Giuliani’s late June trip to London with Parnas and Fruman was partly paid for by an upcoming podcast.
Giuliani was photographed with Parnas and Fruman at a New York Yankees baseball game in London and when questioned about the purpose of the trip, Giuliani told CNN that “that ‘part of the trip’ was paid for by a podcast that has yet to launch. He added the trip ‘included two meetings with an unrelated client, a luncheon speech and three 45-minute interviews we submitted and haven't yet been used.’ Giuliani declined to provide any other details on the podcast --- such as which individuals or company are backing it financially -- other than a claim that he also did interviews for it during a July trip to Albania."
Giuliani also reportedly claimed in a deposition for his divorce that his June London trip was “covered by a podcast” that “has yet to launch.” KFile’s Andrew Kaczynski also pointed out the discrepancy in Giuliani’s statements: