Parnas said by going to the public about the alleged illegal dealings the Trump administration had with the Ukrainian government, he was protecting himself.
Texts released earlier this week by House Democrats that were turned over to them by indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas show Connecticut Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde berating Yovanovitch and suggest he was monitoring her while she was in Kiev and relaying her movements to Parnas. "I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president", Parnas, an American citizen, told MSNBC Wednesday, his lawyer sitting by his side. Months later, Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Yovanovitch was "bad news" and "she's going to go through some things." "I don't know what they do", Donald Trump had said a year ago.
"He was aware of all my movements".
"I don't believe it, and that's why I want to apologize for it", he said, adding that he and Giuliani only wanted her fired because she opposed the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into the Bidens.
'We do our best to make sure that no harm will come to anyone, whether that was what was going on in our embassy in Baghdad last week or the work that was going on in Kyiv up and through the spring of a year ago when Ambassador Yovanovitch was there, and in our embassy in Kyiv even today, ' he said. After headlines, we'll have the latest on the Ukraine scandal and the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Know nothing about him.
"Until this story broke, I had, to the best of my recollection, had never heard of this at all", Pompeo told Hugh Hewitt.
"Lol", Parnas said in response.
Part 2 of the Parnas interview airs on Thursday's "Maddow".
Parnas said he met Hyde at a Trump hotel bar but "didn't take him seriously".
"Just asked Trump about Parnas claim that admin efforts in Ukraine were "all about 2020".
"I didn't even respond to him most of the time", he added. "Computer is off", Hyde wrote in a message. He said that the president was aware of the mission and that U.S. Attorney General William Barr was also on the "team".
The details that Parnas gave, if true, give weight to Trump critics who accuse the president of importing mafia-like methods into the White House.
Parnas has pleaded not guilty to federal charges which put him at risk of 20 years in prison and his lawyer has said he is ready to cooperate with investigators. Other text messages in the document dump showed that a Ukrainian prosecutor pushed Giuliani to have Yovanovitch fired in exchange for information on Trump's political opponents.