When the Feds arrested Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine scandal co-conspirators Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman this past week, Donald Trump was quick to claim that he didn’t know the two men, and that “you’d have to ask Rudy” who they are. The thing is, it turns out that not only does Trump know Parnas, he’s known him for a long time.
Donald Trump is making the argument that just because he posed for a recent picture with Parnas and Fruman, it doesn’t mean he knows them, because the President of the United States ends up getting his picture taken with lots of random people. Trump actually has a bit of a point here – even though the photo in question includes Trump, Rudy, the two arrested guys, and Mike Pence. The president and vice president don’t generally pose together for a photo with two random guys they’ve never met. Now it’s gotten worse.
Politico has dug up a photo of Donald Trump and Lev Parnas from 2014, which changes everything. Sure, Trump was a public figure back then. But he wasn’t president, or even running for president. Now he has to argue that he posed for a photo with Parnas five years ago, and then he (and Pence) posed for another photo with Parnas since taking office, and Trump still doesn’t know who the guy is? Come on.
We don’t yet know the precise relationship between Donald Trump and Lev Parnas. But we do know that Rudy Giuliani was carrying out his Ukraine antics at Trump’s instruction, while Rudy was being bankrolled by Parnas’ hilariously named company Fraud Guarantee. We’re supposed to believe that Trump didn’t know Rudy was relying on Parnas, even though Trump has spent years posing for pictures with Parnas? There’s clearly a deep relationship between Trump and Parnas. With Parnas now in jail and needing a plea deal, will he sell Trump out?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report