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Home / US / Exclusive: Following the White House meeting, Parnas said he was on a "secret mission" for Trump in Ukraine

Exclusive: Following the White House meeting, Parnas said he was on a "secret mission" for Trump in Ukraine

In the picture Parnas posted on social media, he and Fruman smile with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani, the personal advocate of President Fruman slipping out of a large reception room filled with hundreds of Trump donors to hold a private meeting with the President and Giuliani, two acquaintances whom Parnas confided immediately after the meeting.

Eventually, as Parnas told his confidants That night, the subject of Ukraine turned. According to the two confidants, Parnas said that "the big man," as he was sometimes talking to the president, spoke of charging him and Fruman with a "secret mission" to pressure the Ukrainian government, Joe Biden to investigate and his son Hunter.

"James Bond Mission"

In the days immediately following the meeting, Parnas made it clear to the two people whom he confided that he had received a special commission from the President; like a kind of "James Bond mission", one of the people.

For Parnas, the chain of command was clear: Giuliani would issue the president's directives, while Parnas, who speaks fluent Russian, would be an investigator in addition to Fruman, who maintains numerous business contacts in Ukraine.

"Parnas saw the mission as a great crusade," says one of the people whom Parnas confided to. "He thought he was doing the right thing for Trump."

The White House did not respond to repeated requests for comments on a series of questions regarding Trump's meeting and Parnas and Fruman's relationship.

Giuliani denies by his lawyer Robert Costello that a private meeting took place at the White House night, saying it was a mere handshake and an opportunity to take photos. Costello also rejects Parnas' claim that he is "not a Sean Connery" and suffers from "megalomania".

Parnas' lawyer Joseph A. Bondy told CNN: "Mr Parnas believed at all times that he acted only on behalf of the President, as ordered by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and never on behalf of a Ukrainian official."

A lawyer from Fruman declined to comment on this article.

  Giuliani's trip to the center of Trump's impeachment battle began in 201[ads1]8 with a phone call.
In the past, Giuliani was cautious as he was associated with Parnas and Fruman. In earlier conversations with CNN, Giuliani refused to identify his contact and merely said that a "known investigator" linked him to Parnas.

Ken McCallion, a former federal prosecutor with numerous high-ranking clients in Ukraine, including former and current government officials, told CNN that he had heard a similar story about the meeting with the Hanukkah party. Parnas told some customers and contacts of McCallion in Ukraine about the encounter. "Parnas told everyone in Ukraine about the meeting of the White House, he was firmly convinced that he was' their type – that they chose him as their ambassador to Ukraine," McCallion told The Wall Street Journal met Parnas and Fruman with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and then Attorney General Yuriy Lutsenko. During this meeting, they extended Poroshenko's invitation to a White House dinner if he agreed to open a public investigation in Ukraine.

The December meeting in the White House is not the first report on which Parnas and the President are discussing Ukraine. The Washington Post reported that in April 2018, during a small fundraising dinner in a suite at the Trump International Hotel in Washington Trump, Parnas said that the US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was unfriendly to him and his interests. According to the post report citing people who were familiar with Parnas' report on the event, Trump suggested dismissing Yovanovitch.

A year later, in May 2019, Yovanovitch was recalled from her post.

Another Close Encounter

A separate encounter between Parnas and the President – also not previously announced – could provide further evidence that Parnas and Trump knew each other. In August 2018, months before the White House's Hanukkah party, Trump traveled to New York to attend a fundraiser for former Republican Congressman Claudia Tenney.

Among the few present rich donors was Parnas. CNN's photos of two attendees show Parnas mixing with people and being photographed by Trump. Both participants said they had the impression Trump and Parnas knew each other. During a question and answer session, Trump named Parnas by his first name, even though they had nameplates in front of him.

According to one of the sources, Parnas seemed quite proud of his interaction with Trump.

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These meetings contribute to a better understanding of the extent to which Parnas and Fruman, with the support of Giuliani, have entered the inner circle of the President. CNN has recently reported that there have been eight documented times since 2014 in which Parnas and the president were together, including taking joint photo shoots of campaign events and participating in high prize fundraising.

Parnas, a prolific social media user, tended to post those encounters with Trump. But the photo of Trump and Parnas together in the White House in December is the last encounter Parnas made with the president.

The two sources, who entrusted Parnas over the White House Hanukkah meeting, tell CNN that they have been with Parnas many times over the last eighteen months, and that he "worshiped" the president.

Parnas Disappointed by Trump

However he felt at the time, these two sources say that Parnas now feels very differently about Trump. The day after Parnas and Fruman were arrested on 9 October and charged with violating the electoral financial rules, Trump publicly denied ever having known them, a move that deeply disturbed Parnas, according to sources close to him.
"I do not know these gentlemen," Trump told reporters from the South Lawn White House on October 10. "Maybe they were Rudy's customers, you'd have to ask Rudy, I just do not know." , "

In the weeks since his arrest, Parnas is disappointed with Trump, sources say, and even signaled his willingness to cooperate in the Congressional indictment." Parnas' lawyer, Bondy, said his client was going to be killed Prosecution of a Congress summons for documents and testimony to protect its right to change 5.

Prosecutors illegally repudiate Parnas and Fruman from funded republican politicians and campaigns with foreigners' funds $ 325,000 from an unknown source in Trump's flagship Super PAC, America's First Action, pegged Rudy Giuliani, his staff, and the impeachment "class =" media__image "src =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam /assets/191010104227-rudy-giuliani-file-large-169.jpg "/>

Both Parnas and Fruman have Not known guilty and currently awaiting bail and house arrest in Florida. Both men have in the past been accused of wrongdoing in civil court files, even though they have never been prosecuted. An allegation against Parnas in 2008 concerns a man who claims to have been threatened by Parnas after the man accused him of sitting in his home in Sunny Isles Beach. Parnas denied the threat and told the police that he had rented the apartment without a lease, due to an oral agreement with the man.

Fruman's alienated wife, Yelyzaveta Naumova, accused him of having beaten her during her divorce proceedings and possessed a large amount of cocaine and other drugs, which he allegedly wrapped up and fainted as a party favor. Fruman denied the allegations.

Parnas's relationship with Giuliani and Fruman was also tense, Parnas' confidants told CNN. This is a far cry from the days when the trio often met at the Trump Hotel and chartered a joint flight.
  Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, meets with his colleague Lev Parnas on the left in front of a state memorial service for alumni President George HW Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

Last December, one day before the White House Hannukah meeting, Giuliani Parnas brought as his guest at the funeral of former President George HW Bush.

Giuliani and Parnas abuse each other through their lawyers.

Unlike Fruman, Parnas is no longer represented by one of the President's lawyers, John Dowd. "Igor has much more money than Parnas and can afford a strong defense team," one of her confidants tries to explain the split.

Meanwhile, Parnas is trapped without his phones (owned by the government) at his home in Boca Raton, Florida. His former friends are not reaching out and do not want to get involved in the multiple investigations that plague him.

"Oddly I'm sorry for Lev for the mess he's in now," says one of his confidants. "He never thought he was going to do anything wrong, he was working for a president he really believed in. He was a hustler, but also a nice man who made nice gifts to people. that this is all deeply annoying for him. "

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