Former associate of Giuliani claims Trump collaborated with Russia: ‘Clear and obvious’

Lev Parnas, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, boldly accused former President Donald Trump on Saturday of collaborating with Russia, asserting that the evidence is unmistakable.

Parnas, an American businessman of Ukrainian descent, collaborated with Giuliani during the latter’s efforts to uncover information about the Biden family. In 2021, Parnas was found guilty of fraud and campaign finance offenses, resulting in a 20-month prison sentence.

According to CNN, as Trump proceeds with his 2024 reelection campaign, discussions are taking place between his team and Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman from 2016. The purpose of these discussions is to explore the possibility of Manafort assisting with the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, scheduled for July.

In 2019, Manafort was discovered to have engaged in financial fraud. The convictions were obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation into Manafort’s alleged collusion with the Russian government in 2016.

In 2019, Mueller released a 448-page report that presented the results of a two-year investigation. The investigation aimed to determine if there was any collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. Additionally, the probe examined Manafort’s activities as Trump’s campaign chairman, particularly his involvement with Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs. Ultimately, the investigation did not find any evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

It is still uncertain how Trump may plan to involve Manafort in the 2024 campaign, as he had pardoned him in 2020 despite his crimes not being directly related to his work with the former president.

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On Saturday, Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for Trump who has since become a staunch critic, shared a YouTube video of his podcast, “Mea Culpa,” on X, formerly known as Twitter. In the video, Parnas made an appearance as a guest.

In the podcast episode, Cohen posed a question to him, asking if he believed that Trump had collaborated or is currently collaborating with the Russians to spread more misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation.

Parnas expressed his belief that the situation is extremely obvious.

“He is still promoting the same Russian information,” he exclaimed. “Not only that, but Trump’s inner circle is also pushing it, and now Paul Manafort is getting involved. In case you’re not familiar with Paul Manafort, he has direct ties to the Kremlin. Just because he spent a year in prison doesn’t mean those relationships are over.”

The Trump campaign was contacted by Newsweek via email for comment. Trump has consistently denied any allegations linking him to Russia and has referred to these allegations, including Mueller’s investigation, as the “Russia hoax.”

Parnas is speaking out against Trump’s false claims about the Biden family. He previously addressed these claims during a House Oversight Committee hearing in the GOP-led impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

In his testimony, Parnas expressed his belief that the American people have been deceived by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and others in positions of power in government and the media. According to Parnas, they deliberately fabricated false information to further their own agendas, fully aware that it would weaken the unity and stability of our country. He emphasized that the only source of information regarding the Bidens and Ukraine has been Russia and Russian agents.

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This comes in the wake of recent bipartisan criticism towards Trump, who stated that he would “encourage” Russia to do as it pleases with NATO members who fail to meet their financial obligations to the alliance.

During his speech, the former president addressed the crowd, recounting a conversation where he asserted, “You didn’t pay, you’re delinquent?” He further emphasized the importance of fulfilling financial obligations, stating, “I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.”

Concerns have been raised about the vulnerability of former President Trump to foreign influence, particularly from Russia, due to his increasing debt arising from various legal cases.

During a recent interview on MSNBC’s “The Weekend,” Mary McCord, a national security lawyer and former acting assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice (DOJ), was questioned by host Symone Sanders-Townsend about the potential national security threat posed by Trump’s financial exposure.

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