Rudy Giuliani reportedly worked with a company called Fraud Guarantee

Donald Trump declined to comment on the arrest of two men who have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign fund

"So now they are after the legendary "crime buster" and greatest Mayor in the history of NYC, Rudy Giuliani", Trump said in a statement on Twitter.

Parnas lawyer, John Dowd, who has also represented President Trump, said he did not know anything about their interactions and declined to answer further questions, per Politico.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are scrutinizing whether Giuliani violated federal lobbying laws with his dealings in Ukraine, especially his role in undermining Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted USA ambassador to Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, The New York Times reported Friday.

Trump has seemed recently to begin to distance himself from Giuliani, amid reports that allies of the president want the voluble former mayor to keep quiet.

Later on Saturday evening the president reiterated his support for Giuliani in an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.

They were being represented in the court appearance by lawyers for Mr Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is serving prison time after being convicted a year ago in Mr Mueller's investigation. Yet the effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller led Giuliani to Ukraine, which now entangles the former federal prosecutor and mayor in legal jeopardy and is central to the danger threatening the presidency he labored to protect.

Giuliani was first brought on as the public face of Trump's defense of the Russian Federation investigation, with Trump valuing his pugnacious style from the 2016 campaign and his reputation as "America's mayor".

© Cheriss May for The New York Times The presidential motorcade leaving the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., on Saturday. "I haven't spoken to Rudy".

Giuliani is under pressure over his extra-governmental role in Trump's attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a potential opponent in the 2020 election, over unfounded allegations of corruption involving the former vice-president's son.

Kukushkin was arrested in San Francisco Thursday morning, according to William Sweeney, assistant chief of the FBI's NY field office.

Under US lobbying law, Americans who contact the US government while acting at the direction or request of foreign politicians or a foreign government must report this to the Justice Department, regardless of whether they are paid by the foreign party. However, he has insisted that this work did not break foreign lobbying laws because it was carried out on behalf of Trump, not a foreign government or individual.

The president did not say Giuliani was still his personal attorney.

Fruman has been photographed alongside Mr Trump.

Rudy Giuliani is one of the most colourful characters in Donald Trump's orbit.

Giuliani is seen in November 2018 during a trip to Ukraine.

Kenneth P. Vogel reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from NY.

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