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Donald Trump tried to distance himself from the latest scandal that threatens his presidency on Thursday by saying he didn’t know either of the foreign-born Rudy Giuliani associates that his own Justice Department had just indicted for alleged campaign finance violations.
But that’s not what one of the men said three years ago — while attending Trump’s invite-only 2016 election night party in New York.
In fact, Lev Parnas described himself to a foreign correspondent at the cash-bar event in midtown Manhattan as a friend of the president-elect who didn’t live far from his South Florida winter home.
Giuliani, who is reportedly facing investigative scrutiny himself for his dealings with Parnas and Fruman, did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump on Thursday tried to distance himself from Parnas and his business partner. “I don’t know those gentleman,” the president told reporters before boarding Marine One en route to a campaign rally in Minneapolis. “Maybe they were clients of Rudy. You’d have to ask Rudy.”
Parnas posted a photo of himself with Trump at the White House on May 1, 2018, with a caption describing an “incredible dinner and even better conversation,” according to a screenshot captured by The Campaign Legal Center. Another picture Parnas posted from May 21, 2018, shows him with Fruman and Donald Trump Jr. in Beverly Hills, with the caption “Power Breakfast!!!”