In the same secretly recorded dinner conversation in which Donald Trump tells an aide to “take out” United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman can be heard telling Trump that according to Jewish mystical numerology, he is the messiah, who has come to “save the whole world.”
The recording — actually a cell phone video which may be viewed below on this page — was released on Saturday by Joseph A. Bondy, the attorney representing Parnas.
Parnas and Fruman are the now-indicted associates of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Both were deeply involved in the effort to pressure the Ukrainian government to announce a bogus investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. According to a New York Times report, the dinner was attended by donors to the Trump-supporting Super Pac, America First Action.
Parnas and Fruman pledged $1 million to America First Action, gaining them access to the dinner — though it is illegal for candidates to coordinate directly with Super Pacs. According to the federal indictment against them, the two Florida-based businessmen who were both born in Ukraine ultimately donated $325,000 to the pro-Trump Super Pac, in money illegally funneled from a still-unidentified Russian businessman.
In the video, below, Parnas presents Trump with some sort of a gift from “the head rabbi of Ukraine.” The gift, according to Parnas, shows that according to Jewish numerology, Trump’s name is the equivalent of the numbers 424, which are also the numbers of the messiah.
Known as gematria, the Jewish numerological system, while not part of mainstream Judaism, is central to the mystical system of belief known as Kabbalah, according to the Judaic educational site My Jewish Learning. In the system, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet corresponds to a number. Gematria is used by Kabbalistic scholars to interpret the Torah, Judaism’s most sacred religious text.
In the video, Fruman — who made the recording on his cell phone — tells Trump that the numerological significance of his name is “like miracle,” and Parnas tells him that “the messiah is the person that’s come to save the whole world.”
But Trump appears baffled by their explanation, asking, “What other numbers you got?”
Parnas tells Trump to ask his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, about the numerological gift. “He’ll explain it to you,” Parnas says.
Kushner is the grandson of Holocaust survivors and reportedly practices Orthodox Judaism, as does his wife, Trump’s elder daughter, Ivanka.
Trump, however, appears uninterested in the gift and quickly changes the subject to boast about how he supposedly built a new United States embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, for only $150,000. In fact, according to a CNN report, in June 2018 — just two months after the secretly recorded dinner — the State Department awarded a $21.2 million contract to a Maryland firm, for upgrades to the building in Jerusalem.