AFTER KELLYANNE CONWAY SAYS SHE DOES NOT KNOW LEV PARNAS, PHOTO OF THEM TOGETHER RESURFACES16.01.2020
In a contentious interview on Wednesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway sparred with CNN’s Chris Cuomo over the historic impeachment trial that’s about to begin in the Senate.
In the interview, Conway denied knowing Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who recently provided documents to the House Intelligence Committee that expand on President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“You are in power. You are defending the president against things that are wrong. And you are not dealing with the facts of the circumstance, because you can’t. I get it, but I wanted to give you a chance,” Cuomo said after about eight minutes of a heated back and forth with Conway.
“No, but if you’d let me speak, I would,” Conway replied, at which point Cuomo invited her to “speak to what Lev Parnas says and what the documents show and what the president shows and the witnesses show.”
“I don’t know Lev Parnas. What documents?” Conway said. “You don’t have to know him,” Cuomo replied.
Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman who worked with Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has been indicted in the Southern District of New York for alleged campaign finance violations. After the CNN interview, his lawyer Joseph Bondy posted what appears to be a selfie of his client and Conway, indicating they’ve met. The internet took it from there.
The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek‘s emailed requests for comment.
The photo was immediately picked up by many Twitter users under the hashtag “#MaddowParnas” following Parnas’ bombshell interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that aired Wednesday night. The interview provided more details about the White House’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for a Bidens investigation and to oust Marie Yovanovitch, a former U.S. ambassador to that country.
Parnas told Maddow that U.S. Attorney General William Barr was “basically on the team” in the administration’s campaign to pressure Ukraine; that Vice President Mike Pence canceled a trip to Kyiv in an act of retaliation when the country didn’t cooperate; that Republican Rep. Devin Nunes “wanted to help”; and that Yovanovitch was smeared and surveilled because she was “in the way” of these efforts, according to a summary of the interview by Business Insider.
Parnas, who once assisted the White House in its dealings with Ukraine, appears to have changed his tune since facing criminal charges. He has pleaded not guilty and is looking to cooperate with federal prosecutors, who are also investigating Giuliani, according to The New York Times.