After the SDNY arrested Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine scandal henchmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman on Wednesday, Donald Trump stood in front of the television cameras and claimed that he didn’t know the men. He insisted that the photos of him with the two men were mere happenstance, due to the sheer number of people the president ends up taking pictures with. But it turns out – shocker – Trump was lying.
Two and a half months ago, BuzzFeed published an expose into these two guys, their relationship with Rudy Giuliani, and their relationship with Donald Trump. Here’s the one sentence from that report that turns out to be everything:
In a whirlwind of private meetings, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — who pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican campaigns and dined with the president — gathered repeatedly with top officials in Ukraine and set up meetings for Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani as they turned up information that could be weaponized in the 2020 presidential race.
That’s right. Donald Trump didn’t just pose for a photo with these two guys, without knowing who they were, as he’s claiming. Instead, he “dined” with them. If you’ve sat down and had dinner with someone, you can’t turn around and claim that you don’t know them. You met them. You broke bread together. And you plotted the Ukraine scandal together. If these two guys end up cutting plea deals, they can give up Rudy and Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report