Donald Trump on Saturday again denied that he knows the two associates of his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in a telephone interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, as reported via Twitter by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar. In the interview, Trump dismissed photographs showing him with the two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, as insignificant. The two Ukrainian men were arrested by federal authorities on Wednesday.
"I don't know who they are. I mean, I guess maybe I met them, or maybe I took pictures with them," Trump told Pirro, adding that, "I take pictures with a lot of people."
"You'll have to figure that one out for yourself," Trump then added, without explanation.
But on Saturday, Politico published a photograph of Trump with Parnas that appeared on Facebook dated April 12, 2014, two years before the first reported interaction between Trump and either of the two men who are now under federal indictment.
They are charged with illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a wealthy Russian businessman into a pro-Trump SuperPac, using a dummy corporation in order to mask the true source of the funds. The corporation has never conducted any business.
The photo, seen below, appears on the Facebook page of Shawn Jaros, "also known as Shawn Jarosovich," according to Politico.
The page also included a comment from two weeks earlier.
"Shout out to my ukranian boss and brother Lev Parnas," he said, adding, "i want to meet the donald soon!!!!!!"
According to Politico, the comments on the page suggest that the photo showing Trump and Jaros was not taken as part of "a chance interaction," and that Parnas "had discussed his access to Trump with Jaros."
More recent online photos show Parnas at the White House with Trump, as The Inquisitr has reported. In the caption of the those photos, dated May 1 of this year, Parnas thanks Trump for an "incredible dinner and even better conversation."The photos appear to cast doubt on Trump's denials that he knows Parnas and Fruman. In addition, John Dowd, the lawyer for the two men, sent a letter to Congress this week.
"Parnas and Fruman assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump," Dowd said, as quoted by The Washington Post.
Dowd previously represented Trump in his defense against the investigation run by special counsel Robert Mueller into the president's contacts with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.The two Florida-based, Soviet Union-born businessmen also acted as "fixers" for Giuliani in his effort to pressure the government of Ukraine to announce an investigation into Trump's potential 2020 election opponent, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, as The Inquisitr reported.