On Wednesday, President Donald Trump denounced Lev Parnas, once again. The former associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Guilani, was described by the president as a businessman who was “sort of like a groupie” at fundraisers.
“I don’t know him, other than he’s sort of like a groupie,” the president said of Parnas, “He shows up at fundraisers. I don’t know anything about him.”
In case you aren’t up to date, Parnas is currently facing federal indictment for alleged campaign finance violations.
Trump made the comments during a press conference from Davos, Switzerland, as he attended the annual World Economic Forum. Asked about allegations by Parnas that the president knew of all his and Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, Trump immediately shot back, calling Parnas a “con man.”
Parnas and his associate, Igor Fruman, were arrested and indicted last October for allegedly funneling donations to U.S. political campaigns, including a group supporting Trump’s reelection bid. The two have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“Parnas, I don’t know, other than he probably contributed to the campaign along with tens of thousands of other people,” Trump continued, “This weekend I was taking pictures with hundreds of people. Every once in a while I’ll look at somebody and I’ll say, ‘Gee, I wonder when that picture is going to be in The New York Times, or The Washington Post or on Fox.’ ”
House investigators last week released a trove of records and text messages that Parnas turned over as part of their investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. The documents offered additional details about Trump and Giuliani’s apparent efforts to pressure Ukraine into opening investigations into the president’s political rivals.
Parnas also spoke out about the dealings in highly talked about interviews with MSNBC and CNN that same week.
“I don’t know him at all,” Trump said last Thursday. “Don’t know what he’s about. Don’t know where he comes from. Know nothing about him. I can only tell you this thing is a big hoax.”
Giuliani also told Fox News that his associate had “misrepresentations” about the effort to push Ukraine to in order to announce investigations.
“I’m not going to respond to him for each and every one of the misrepresentations he’s made, because there are so many,” Giuliani added.