Trump has sought to distance himself from Lev Parnas as evidence of their ties mounts.
A photograph of President Donald Trump posing with a recently indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani was posted online in April 2014, two years prior to what had been their first known interaction.
In the photo, Trump and Lev Parnas stand shoulder to shoulder, smiling at the camera at what appears to be an outdoor nighttime event. Trump wears a white, Trump-branded cap and white shirt under a jacket. Parnas wears a royal blue collared shirt. The circumstances of the meeting captured in the photograph remain unclear.
It was posted on April 2, 2014, on the Facebook account of Shawn Jaros, also known as Shawn Jarosovich. Jaros captioned the photo “the big homies!!!!!!!!!!! for real tho” and then commented on the photo, “salute lev im coming brother!!!!!!!!!”
Two weeks earlier, on March 14, Jaros posted, “Shout out to my ukranian boss and brother Lev Parnas thank you for eberything you and your team doing for me, i cant repay you enough!!!!!!!! and i want to meet the donald soon!!!!!!”
That post suggests the meeting captured in the photo was not a chance interaction, and that Parnas had discussed his access to Trump with Jaros.
Trump has sought to distance himself from Parnas, the Florida businessman at the center of a ballooning scandal over illicit foreign influence in his administration and, more broadly, the American political system. But the photograph and post provide further evidence that the two men are more closely tied than Trump has let on.
Other Facebooks posts by Jaros around that time describe Parnas as a business partner. Jaros does not reveal the nature of their work together, but on March 14, 2014, he posted, “three letters llc!!!!!!!!!!!!” on his Facebook page. May 28, 2014, he posted, “two words foreign investments!!!!!!!!!!!!” on his Facebook page. On May 22, he posted, “i was told today some people i deal with have 300 mllion in dong in their posession.”
A year later, on May 12, 2015, he posted a photo of Parnas sitting in the backseat of a Rolls Royce with the caption, “the big homie, okk, one call and bammm!!!!!!”
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