In an interview tonight with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Lev Parnas asserted that President Donald Trump was fully aware of the efforts to dig up potentially damaging information on former Vice-President Joseph Biden to help his re-election.
Maddow asked Parnas, “What do you think is the main inaccuracy, the main lie being told that you feel like you can correct?”
Parnas said, “That the president didn’t know what was going on. President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all of my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president.”
In the interview Parnas also implicated Congressman Devin Nunes in the scandal.
The following is a transcript of Maddow’s interview tonight with Parnas concerning Nunes
Rachel Maddow: Do you know Congressman Devin Nunes?
Parnas: Yes I do
Maddow: And what is your relationship with him?
Parnas: We don’t have too much of a relationship. We met several times at the Trump Hotel. But our relationship got expanded when I was introduced to his aid, Derek Harvey (retired US Army Colonel who currently serves on the staff of Congressman Devin Nunes.) The reason why Derek Harvey was more involved was because, was told Devin Nunes had just, had an ethics, something to do with the ethics committee and he could not be in the spotlight. He was kind of shunned a little bit. He was looking into this Ukraine stuff also and wanted to help out. They gave me Derek Harvey to deal with.
Rachel Maddow: You told Mr. Harvey what you were working on in Ukraine, trying to get Ukraine to announce that Biden investigation?
Parnas: He was aware of that already. He knew everything.
Maddow: He already knew that by the time he talked to you?
Parnas: He had a lot of information already.
Maddow: Do you believe he got his information from Mr. Guiliani?
Parnas: I think they, there was other people doing this, like op…(oppositional research) or whatever. I don’t know what you call it but it was coming from different sides.
Maddow: Given that interaction you just described with Mr. Nunes and his aid Mr. Harvey, does it strike you as unusual or inappropriate that Mr. Nunes would be one of the lead investigators into the scandal on the House Intelligence Committee?
Parnas: I was shocked. When I was watching the hearing I, when I saw Devin Nunes sitting up there and there was a picture where Derek Harvey was in back over there sitting, I text my attorney, I cant believe this is happening.
Parnas: Because they were involved in getting all this stuff on Biden. I mean Derek Harvey had several interviews, skypped interviews, that I set up, with different prosecutors such as Nazar Kholodnitskiy (the former Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Ukraine on which The National Anti-Corruption Bureau depended) and Prosecutor Kostyantyn Kulik (former deputy head of the international legal cooperation department at the Prosecutor General’s Office and loyalist of ex-President Petro Poroshenko) who said he had all this Biden stuff.
Its hard to see them lie like that when you know…..It’s scary because you know he was sitting there making all their statements and all that when he knew very well that he knew what was going on. He knew that was happening. He knew who I am.
According to the Daily Beast, Nunes told Fox News soon after the Maddow interview that he now remembers speaking on the phone with Parnas.
“Claiming that the information was ‘brand new’ at the time and he just didn’t ‘recognize the name Parnas,’ Nunes added that he was now able to recall ‘where he was at the time’ and now “remembered that call.”
Parnas, an American citizen who was born in the former Soviet Union, was arrested in October and now faces criminal charges in New York. He expressed regret for having trusted Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani. Parnas’ lawyer said he was now willing to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating Giuliani.