Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told CNN he never spoke with Rudy Guiliani’s associate Lev Parnas.
“Frankly, I have not spoken with [Lev Parnas], and again, frankly, I don’t trust any word he is now saying,” Prystaiko said.
Vadym Prystaiko, Foreign Minister of Ukraine: "Frankly, I have not spoken with [Lev Parnas], and again, frankly, I don’t trust any word he is now saying." pic.twitter.com/bRUm3mleqN
— The Hill (@thehill) January 16, 2020
On Wednesday, in an interview with CNN, Parnas said Trump’s efforts in Ukraine were all about 2020 and were focused on personal interests, not the interests of the United States.
“That was the way everyone viewed it,” Parnas told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. “That was the most important thing, for him to stay on for four years and keep the fight going. I mean, there was no other reason for [withholding the Ukrainian security assistance].”
During an interview with MSNBC, Parnas said Trump and Guiliani directed him to urge Ukrainian officials to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Parnas also said that Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Bill Barr, and former national security advisor John Bolton were aware of Trump’s work in Ukraine.
Prystaiko called into question Parnas’ claim that he met with Ukrainian foreign officials on Trump’s behalf by pointing out that Parnas may be lying for personal gain.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham also dismissed Parnas’ claims.
“These allegations are being made by a man who is currently out on bail for federal crimes and is desperate to reduce his exposure to prison,” Grisham said. “The facts haven’t changed — the president did nothing wrong and this impeachment, which was manufactured and carried out by the Democrats has been a sham from the start.”
In a statement to MSNBC, Guiliani denied telling Ukrainian officials that Parnas was acting on behalf of himself and the Trump administration.
“All I can say is the truth. He’s a very sad situation,” Guiliani said.