Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, was accused in November of meeting with Rudy Giuliani‘s associate Lev Parnas to discuss the alleged plan to dig up dirt on Donald Trump‘s Democratic rival, Joe Biden. Although the House Intelligence Committee released call logs involving the trio, Nunes said at that time that he didn’t remember speaking to Parnas.
In an interview on Fox News Wednesday night, Nunes said he now remembers the phone call he had with Giuliani and Parnas. The confession came after Parnas made a potentially game-changing interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night, Newsweek reports.
“If you recall, that was brand new when it came out, when I was on your show. I just didn’t know the name. This name Parnas,” Nunes said to anchor Martha MacCallum, who previously interviewed Nunes about his alleged contact with Parnas.
Nunes noted that he deals with people daily on his office phone and cell phone, appearing to suggest that Parnas’ call to the latter got lost in the fray. The 46-year-old politician noted that he did not know Parnas’ name at the time the call logs were released but added that he cross-checked the records with his physical location at the time to jog his memory.
“It was very clear. I remember that call, which was very odd, random, talking about random things. And I said great, just talk to my staff and boom, boom, boom. Which is normal, standard operating procedure.”
MacCallum pressed Nunes about whether he discussed then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch with Parnas, to which Nunes said he remembered hearing Yovanovitch’s name for the first time at the beginning of the impeachment inquiry.
Maddow: Do you know Devin Nunes?
Parnas: Yes. We met several times at Trump Hotel. Our relationship started when I was introduced to his aide Derek Harvey.
Maddow: You told Harvey about your Ukraine stuff?
Parnas: He was already aware. He knew everything. pic.twitter.com/wGJzs30234
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 16, 2020
Per MSNBC, Parnas told Maddow that he met Nunes several times and was later referred to a Nunes aide, who was allegedly aware of the purported Ukraine pressure campaign that Parnas and Giuliani are accused of spearheading. Parnas also noted his surprise when he saw Nunes on television involved in the impeachment hearings.
“I was in shock when I was watching the hearings and when I saw Devin Nunes sitting up there,” Parnas said, later clarifying that his shock was due to Nunes’ apparent involvement in the reported campaign to secure investigations into Biden.
Parnas also said it was “hard to see them lie like that.” He called it “scary” and claimed that Nunes “knew what was going on.”
Nunes previously threatened to sue CNN and The Daily Beast for reports that he met with Parnas to discuss the alleged Biden investigation.