The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., came to the defense of his father over the weekend, claiming that Lev Parnas and Trump Sr. weren’t as close as media reports make them out to be.
Trump Jr. admitted that the two had met before, but claimed Parnas was nothing more than a donor who happened to snap a photograph with Trump Sr. on a few occasions, Trump Jr. said in a Fox News interview that aired on Sunday.
“If someone is a donor, they get in line, they sit at a dinner with 50 people. That’s how it works,” Trump Jr. said. “The media then takes it and says, ‘Oh, they’re buddies.'”
“I guarantee you my father couldn’t pick this guy out of a lineup,” he added, according to a report from the Washington Times. “That doesn’t mean he hasn’t taken pictures with him.”
The president has made great pains to disassociate himself from Parnas, who spoke in a number of interviews last week on his relationship to Trump in regard to the Ukraine scandal. Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Trump knew who he was, and what’s more, was well aware of his business in Kyiv to find dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
“President Trump knew exactly what was going on, he was aware of all of my movements,” Parnas explained. “I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president.”
Donald Trump Jr. admitted on Sunday to meeting indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, claiming he and his father merely took fundraiser photos with the businessman whose involvement in the Ukraine scandal is at the heart of impeachment https://t.co/It79lSiQF4
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 19, 2020
In a separate interview, Parnas also said that, every time Trump denies knowing him, he plans to release a new photograph of the two spending time with one another. “Every time he says that, I’ll show him another picture…he’s lying,” Parnas explained.
Trump Jr.’s claim that the president couldn’t point Parnas out in a criminal lineup contradicts a trait that, in the past, Trump Sr. has said he has. The president once stated to reporters in 2017 that he has “one of the greatest memories of all time,” Business Insider reported.
Since that time, however, Trump has claimed to be forgetful or can’t recall incidents on a number of occasions. In written testimony to Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, for example, Trump has stated that he couldn’t recall a certain topic or event happening at least 37 times, the Washington Post noted.