After Donald Trump Denies Knowing Lev Parnas, Lawyer Posts Video Of Parnas With Arm Around Trump At Mar-A-Lago
On Wednesday, MSNBC aired an explosive interview with Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. In that interview, Parnas placed Trump directly in the center of the Ukraine scandal that has led to his impeachment and Senate trial, which opens on Tuesday.
Parnas took part in carrying out the reported pressure campaign against Ukraine, and he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Trump, “knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements.”
On Thursday, Trump responded to Parnas by flatly denying that he knows the man.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him,” Trump said during an exchange with reporters at the White House, as quoted by USA Today. Trump acknowledged that photographs of himself with Parnas existed, but dismissed their significance.
“I meet thousands and thousands of people,” he said. “[I] take thousands of pictures.”
“I’ll show him another picture. He’s lying,” Parnas volleyed back at Trump on Thursday, according to USA Today.
In fact, the day before his interview with Maddow aired, Parnas and his lawyer released a pair of videos online that were edited montages consisting of multiple photos of himself with the president, as well as with Trump’s two older sons, Eric and Donald Jr. In addition, Trump’s son-in-law and daughter, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, also appeared in a photo with Parnas.
On Thursday, Parnas’ lawyer, Joseph Bondy, again fired back, posting a video to Twitter showing what he said is Parnas and Trump together at a Mar-a-Lago party last December.
Here’s the “I don’t know him at all, don’t know what he’s about, don’t know where he comes from, know nothing about him” guy, w Lev Parnas & Roman Nasirov, former head of Ukrainian Fiscal Service, at Mar-a-Lago 12/16. @POTUS .@realDonaldTrump @Acosta #LevRemembers #LetLevSpeak pic.twitter.com/5B5QY2DJEg
— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) January 16, 2020
In the video, Parnas appears friendly with Trump, even placing his arm around the president’s shoulder.
In the Maddow interview, Parnas acknowledged that his relationship with Trump was largely a professional one, according to a summary of the interview appearing in The Guardian.
“We’re not friends. Me and him didn’t watch football games together,” he said of Trump. “We didn’t eat hot dogs. But he knew exactly who we were.”
In October, Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, were arrested as they attempted to board a flight out of the country. They were charged with conspiracy, making false statements and falsification of records, according to The Guardian. Prosecutors say the charges stem from hundreds of thousands in illegal campaign donations funneled by Parnas and Fruman to a pro-Trump SuperPAC, as well as to other Republicans, all from a Russian bank account.
On Thursday, Mother Jones reported that Parnas and Fruman’s travel expenses from when they traveled around the globe carrying out the pressure campaign against Ukraine came from Harry Sargeant III, a Florida billionaire oil and shipping tycoon, who is also a major Republican donor who backed Giuliani’s 2008 campaign for president.