From USA Today:
President Donald Trump and aides sought Thursday to distance him from a Soviet-born businessman who said Trump knew all about efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating U.S. political rival Joe Biden – a pivotal point in the Senate impeachment trial of the president.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him,” Trump told reporters about Lev Parnas, taking questions after an event announcing new federal guidance he has said will “safeguard” the rights of students to pray in school.
Parnas said Trump knows him well and there are pictures of the two of them at various events. In an interview with CNN, Parnas said that every time Trump denies knowing him, “I’ll show him another picture. He’s lying.”
Here’s Trump telling reporters he meets thousands of people and doesn’t remember them, and that’s followed by tweets of photos and video showing the two men together.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 16, 2020
“I don’t know those gentlemen.”
“He was aware of all my movements.I wouldn't do anything w/o the consent of Giuliani, or the president.
Why w Pres Zelenskiy’s inner circle meet me? Who am I?They were told to meet w me. That’s the secret they're trying to keep.”
– Parnas pic.twitter.com/PrCxB6YIky
— jen pal (@jennyrachelpal) January 16, 2020
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