Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who has been implicated in an alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday that his actions weren’t a secret to President Donald Trump.
Speaking out exclusively to MSNBC, Parnas says that Trump “knew exactly what was going on.”
“He was aware of all my movements,” Parnas added. “I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials.”
Biggest misconception that you wanna clear up?
"That Trump didnt know what was going on. I didnt do anything that Rudy Giuliani & Trump didnt know about."
Parnas also confirmed that Trump outright lied about not knowing Lev.pic.twitter.com/gjb9lYWX6f
— Bill Maxwell 🌊 #CountryOverParty (@Bill_Maxwell_) January 15, 2020
Parnas was arrested on campaign finance charges in October and is now cooperating with House Impeachment investigators.
Along with his business partner Igor Fruman, Parnas helped set up meetings for Giuliani with Ukrainian officials while Giuliani was looking to dig up dirt on a Trump political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.
The president’s effort to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching an investigation into the Bidens and the Democratic National Committee is central to the impeachment articles passed by the House of Representatives.
Zelensky and other leaders “have no reason to speak to me,” Parnas told Maddow, adding, “Why would President Zelenskiy’s inner circle, or Minister Avakov, or all these people, or President Poroshenko meet with me? Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work.”
Asked whether Trump specifically was aware that he and Giuliani were working on this effort in Ukraine, specifically to hurt Joe Biden, Parnas said yes.
“Yeah, it was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and also Rudy had a personal thing with the Manafort stuff. The black ledger,” Parnas said, according to a transcript provided by NBC News.