White House Fires Back Over Absurd Charges From Lev Parnas
The White House on Thursday fired back at allegations from Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman and former associate of the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
In charges widely covered by mainstream media, Parnas claimed President Trump was fully aware of a plan to push Ukraine into investigating a corrupt gas company there that employed Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
Parnas was indicted in October on charges of violating campaign finance laws. On Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show late Wednesday, Parnas alleged that Trump “knew exactly what was going on” in Ukraine. He also claimed Vice President Pence and Attorney General William Barr probably knew, too.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted Parnas’s credibility, saying he is simply looking for attention and trying to avoid going to jail.
“This is a man who’s under indictment and who’s actually out on bail,” Grisham said Thursday morning on Fox News. “This is a man who owns a company called Fraud Inc., so I think that’s something that people should be thinking about. We’re not too concerned about it.”
“It’s unfortunate that he’s now making a media tour with a lot of the outlets that are, you know, against the president,” she said. “I think that shows exactly what he’s doing.”
Grisham shot down the reliability of Parnas’s notes and text message exchanges with Giuliani. “I’ve got to say, just to say Rudy told me these things doesn’t mean that it has anything to do with the president, and it certainly doesn’t mean the president was directing him to do anything,” Grisham said.
“We stand by exactly what we’ve been saying,” she added. “The president did nothing wrong.”
The Justice Department on Thursday also denied Parnas‘ claims that Attorney Barr knew about Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine. “100 percent false,” Justice Department Kerri Kupec said in a statement.
“The President has not spoken with the Attorney General about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son,” the statement said. “The President has not asked the Attorney General to contact Ukraine – on this or any other matter.”
“The Attorney General has not communicated with Ukraine – on this or any other subject. Nor has the Attorney General discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, with Rudy Giuliani,” the statement continued.