“I don’t think Trump is like organized crime, I think he’s like a cult leader,” Parnas told Maddow in the taped interview.
Parnas added: “There are a lot of Republicans that would go against him. … He wasn’t as powerful in ’16 and ’17, he became that powerful when he got [Attorney General] William Barr.”
He also admitted that both he and his family were scared of the U.S.’s justice system.
— Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer (@ksenijapavlovic) January 16, 2020
The Ukrainian American played a central role in Giuliani’s “shadow diplomacy” in Ukraine in 2019 and was part of the former New York mayor’s efforts to have Trump recall then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Parnas and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, were arrested late last year on alleged campaign finance violations.
In the first part of his interview with Maddow, which aired Wednesday night, Parnas said Trump “knew exactly what was going on,” and that former national security adviser John Bolton was aware of what was happening in Ukraine.
In response to Parnas saying that Vice President Pence was in the know, the vice president’s chief of staff Marc Short said in a statement Wednesday: “This is very simple: Lev Parnas is under a multi-count indictment and will say anything to anybody who will listen in hopes of staying out of prison.”
“It’s no surprise that only the liberal media is listening to him,” he added.