Despite a warning from Lev Parnas, President Trump claimed not to know him again Thursday. "I don't know Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "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. ... I don't believe I've ever spoken to him."
Jospeh Bondy, Parnas' lawyer, brought the receipts, posting a video taken at Mar-a-Lago in December 2016, where Trump is clearly talking with Parnas, who is standing next to him and also Roman Nasirov, a former Ukrainian official charged with embezzlement.
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
The Washington Post used that video in a jaunty roundup of Parnas posing, often on multiple occasions, next to Trump and other Republicans who claimed not to know him.
Calling Parnas a "Giuliani associate" is "way too limited — he is a full-fledged member of Trump Co," Chris Cuomo said on CNN Thursday night. As he ran through the details, he showed photo after photo of Parnas and Trump or members of his family and inner circle. "There are so many that I had to leave pictures out," Cuomo said.
Lev Parnas' ties to President Trump run deep
CNN's @ChrisCuomo says referring to Lev Parnas as an associate of Rudy Giuliani is "way too limited. He is a full-fledged member of Trump co." #ClosingArgument https://t.co/zIBpn9wgGd pic.twitter.com/KMUGKXEkNz
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) January 17, 2020
In fact, Parnas' connection to Trump stretches back to the 1980s, when he sold real estate for Trump's father, Fred Trump, The Washington Post reported in October. "When Parnas was 16, he worked at Kings Highway Realty, selling Trump Organization co-ops." Adam Entous elaborated at The New Yorker. Parnas told The New Yorker that job "was my first time knowing who Trump was, but, growing up in that area, you knew who Trump was, because his name was all over the place." After Parnas moved to Florida in 1995, Entous added, "on visits to New York, he stayed at Trump properties."
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