As any politician would tell you, taking photographs with supporters at fundraisers is a far cry from “knowing” the individuals they are posing with. Of course, this little detail is not preventing the anti-Trump media from suggesting otherwise.
As the Senate takes control of the impeachment process, Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, is being trotted out before the American public to make some damning claims about the president’s inner thinking.
In the face of a number of photos of the president posing with Parnas, which are being put out to suggest an intimate relationship existed between the two, President Trump was adamant on Thursday that he doesn’t know Parnas.
“I don’t know him,” Trump informed reporters during an Oval Office event on school prayer. “I don’t know Parnas other than I guess I had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people.”
“I don’t know him at all,” he added. “Don’t know what he’s about. Don’t know where he comes from. Know nothing about him.”
The president repeated the assertion again and again, calling the whole thing “a big hoax.”
“He’s probably trying to make a deal for himself,” the president said of Parnas.
The Russian-born Parnas is facing charges of illegal campaign donations to a Super PAC that supports Trump, and he is being given a national platform on MSNBC and CNN to say all the right things as the Senate trial is set to get underway — as if he had access to the president’s inner circle and his most personal thoughts.
Appearing on CNN, Parnas said that Trump was “lying” about their relationship and threatened to release a photo of the two of them every time the president denies that he knows him.
“I welcome him to say that even more. Every time he says that I’ll show him another picture,” Parnas said. “He’s lying.”
It’s noteworthy that the photos largely depict impersonal, public settings — not that the liberal media would care to point this out.
Parnas’ attorney released a video of Parnas interacting with Trump during an event at Mar-a-Lago — the soundtrack of Janet Jackson’s “Together Again” was added.
BREAKING: New video released by Lev Parnas attorney—Lev Parnas & Roman Nasirov, former head of Ukrainian Fiscal Service, with Trump at Mar-a-Lago 12/16
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 16, 2020
Throwing around reckless allegations, Parnas implicated Attorney General William Barr, and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry in an interview with Rachel Maddow.
He claimed Barr “had to have known everything” about the Ukraine scheme plan, including the “quid pro quo” Trump is accused of in his request for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
Parnas also said Perry was brought in by Giuliani to pressure the Ukrainian president to publicly announce the investigation.
Turns out, Parnas likes taking photographs with public figures.
Interview by @maddow with Lev Parnas (Second from right) and his attorney @josephabondy (far left) was taped. Here they are after taping with Maddow and Stephanie Schuman, Esq. (far right). Watch it on @msnbc at 9 PM ET. Parnas looks too happy for my taste. Photo: @josephabondy. pic.twitter.com/IXBOwu6ltR
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) January 15, 2020
“It was all about 2020 to make sure [Trump] had another four years,” the low-level Giuliani associate declared on CNN, in reference to the Ukraine controversy.
And he insisted that he “knew everything.”
“I knew everything that was going on,” Parnas told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I mean, after Rudy would speak with the president or come from the White House, I was the first person he briefed. I mean, we had a relationship. We were that close. I mean, we were together from morning to night.”
Touting his importance, Parnas added: “I should be their number one witness, I’m the one that got all the dirt, supposedly. Why aren’t they calling me to testify? Why do they need Biden? Call me.”
Again, with the photos:
Join Lev Parnas and I for his second TV interview this evening, with @andersoncooper on @cnn, discussing @realDonaldTrump @RudyGiuliani and others. #LetLevSpeak #LevSpeaks #LevRemembers #TheyAllKnew pic.twitter.com/mSK2fsNBBP
— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) January 16, 2020
The ploy here being, in the eyes of skeptics, to establish a critical need for the Senate to call more witnesses and further investigate Trump, rather than going on the weak case produced by the Democrat-run House.
Right on cue, as Parnas engages in a media tour, the New York Times tells the nation “there is more still to be learned.”
The media tour coinciding with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., delivering “new” evidence to the House Judiciary Committee on the eve of the House turning over to the Senate the two articles of impeachment against Trump.
The new evidence included text messages, notes and other documents obtained from Parnas.
The White House countered all the commotion to say Parnas is just trying to stay out of prison.
Back to the Barr allegation, Parnas named attorney Victoria Toensing and husband and legal partner Joe DiGenova as players, prompting Toensing to slam him, saying he “absolutely lied.”
Giuliani also said as much, telling the Washington Post after the MSNBC interview, “Believe him at your peril.”
“We all make mistakes. I feel sorry for him and his family,” Giuliani added.
Hell, even Schiff refused to speak to whether Parnas was credible, as seen in a video clip being shared by the Trump campaign.
Democrat Adam Schiff loves to spread virtually any conspiracy theory or hoax about President Trump. There is almost no gutter accusation he won't run with.
So it's really quite telling that when he was asked point blank if Lev Parnas is credible, he refused to answer. pic.twitter.com/4lv0zbwaKV
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) January 16, 2020
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