Lev Parnas claims 'Trump knew exactly what was going on' about Ukraine scandal

Pence trip to Ukraine was cancelled after the country failed to announce investigation against Trump's rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden-Parnas

Lev Parnas, the accused associate of Rudy Giuliana, Donald Trump's personal lawyer, has told that US President Donald Trump was completely aware of the actions being undertaken by him to extract information against former Vice President Joe Biden, on his behalf in Ukraine on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Giuliani's associate Parnas who insisted that he wanted to get the truth out as he feels it's important for our country and it's important for him, along with Igor Fruman, were arrested in October last year for allegedly making $325,000 in illegal straw donations to a Trump super PAC.

Even though Parnas had posted a picture of himself with US President Donald Trump on social media in 2018, Trump denied having known him or Fruman. "He lied. He knew exactly who we were. I was 'absolutely' working for the president in his capacity as a legal aide to Giuliani," he added.

'Trump knew exactly what was going on,' Parnas

Lev Parnas
Lev Parnas Twitter/Nate Williams

In a bare-all interview conducted on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, Parnas, who was accompanied by his lawyer, said that he wasn't working on his own to coax the Ukrainians to launch an investigation into Trump's rival and a current favourite for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.

"President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials. I mean, they have no reason to speak to me," Parnas told show's host Rachel Maddow.

"Why would [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's] inner circle, or Minister [Arsen] Avakov, or all these people, or [former Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko] meet with me? Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that's the secret that they're trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work," he concluded.

Earlier, Parnas, charged with federal campaign finance violations, had submitted a number of documents, including conversations between Giuliani and Zelensky, related to his dealings in Ukraine to the House Intelligence Committee. On Tuesday, the committee had released some part of the documents for public viewing.

Parnas introduced himself as a representative for Giuliani and the President

In the interview, Parnas claimed that the US President knew about Giuliani's and his efforts being undertaken in Ukraine to malign former US Vice president Joe Biden. "It was never about corruption, it was strictly about Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden,' he said.

Maintaining that he introduced himself to Ukrainian officials as a representative for Giuliani and the president, Parnas said that during his meeting with the Sergey Schafer, a senior Zelensky aide, he cleared that US military aid would not be given to Ukraine unless Zelensky publicly announced investigations into Joe Biden.

"Basically, the message that I gave Sergey Schafer was a very harsh message that was told to me to give it to him in a very harsh way, not a pleasant way. Rudy told me after, you know meeting the president at the White House, the message was it wasn't just military aid, it was all aid. Basically their relationships would be sour, that we would stop giving them any kind of aid," he said on the show.

On being probed further, Parnas revealed: "There were several demands at that point. A, the most important was the announcement of the Biden investigation."

'Pence's visit to Ukraine was cancelled after the latter failed to announce investigations against Bidens,' Parnas

Parnas further went on to reveal how Trump ensured that Vice President Mike Pence did not appear in the inauguration of Ukraine's new president Zelensky only because, Ukraine refrained from announcing an investigation into Bidens.

"I know it sounds crazy, but more support from the president, by having a White House visit, by having a big inauguration, by having the dignitaries there. The announcement was the key at that time because of the inauguration, that [Vice President Mike] Pence would not show up. Nobody would show up to the inauguration," he said.

Speaking further about the incident, that was first reported in October, Parnas said that a week before the function, Schafer was told of Trump's intentions. However, after ensuring Parnas, that he would get back, Schafer ceased all communications with him including blocking him on WhatsApp. "After I updated Giuliani, he said 'Okay, they'll see.' To my awareness, Trump called up and said to make sure Pence doesn't go there," he said.

When Maddow asked whether he was sure that Mr Pence's trip to the inauguration was cancelled because [Ukraine] didn't agree? Parnas said: "Oh I know 100 percent. It was 100 percent. The chain of events, that was key to where we are today. Take a look at what transpires. Next within the next couple days, they realize that now they get word. Obviously, when Pence cancels, they get the word. So now they realize that what I was telling them was true."