Eyes across the nation tuned in to Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show on Wednesday night for an interview with Lev Parnas—a Ukrainian-American associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Parnas, who was recently indicted by the Southern District of New York for illegally funneling money into Republican political campaigns, was elaborating on a recently released trove of text messages, tapes, and other documents he turned over to House Democrats.
He implicated not only the President, but Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr, Rudy Giuliani, and Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) in the efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations politically beneficial to Trump's re-election efforts.
So presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway was likely hoping for an easy interview when she appeared on one of the President's favorite networks, Fox News, to comment on the revelations from Parnas.
That's not what happened, as Media Intelligence Director for MMFA—Lis Power—pointed out.
Asked *repeatedly* whether Lev Parnas was lying about Trump knowing "exactly" what was going on, Kellyanne Conway d… https://t.co/OK6zySYMMh— Lis Power (@Lis Power) 1579187875.0
Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked for the White House's position on whether or not the President was aware of Parnas's efforts.
Hemmer then interrupted Conway, asking for a yes or no answer on whether Parnas was lying.
Nevertheless, she deflected:
"That was a TV show, not a court of law, and this is somebody who lied to the authorities about his wealth when they were setting his bail...I think you should go by what the President himself has said. And remember, this started out, 'We're going to find those 70 thousand votes and switch the election to Hillary Clinton, then we're going to do Russia Collusion...'"
She then lamented the media's supposed lack of coverage regarding Trump's economy before Hemmer once again asked her if Parnas was lying.
"Well, he's a proven liar, he's been indicted...I've never heard the President mention this person to me ever a single time."
Now might be a good time to note that Conway herself is one of many Trump officials—including the President—to be pictured with Parnas.
Kellyanne Conway tells CNN: “I don’t know Lev Parnas.” https://t.co/m6CoO6Pa5m https://t.co/aljkD9cZdA— Jim Roberts (@Jim Roberts) 1579170957.0
As Conway segued into insults about Biden and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, co-anchor Sandra Smith asked flat-out if Trump knew what was going on:
"It's a yes or no question. 'Trump knew exactly what was going on,' said Lev Parnas, and we're asking is that statement true or false?"
Watch Conway's answer below.
I can't get over how damning this interview is Conway was AGAIN asked explicitly "yes or no, Trump knew exactly wh… https://t.co/jwHBAyQYH3— Lis Power (@Lis Power) 1579188460.0
Conway once again pivoted to Biden without denying Parnas's allegations.
For many, Conway's evasiveness was an answer in itself.
Kellyanne lies about everything! So it's legitimately weird she wouldn't just say, "of course Lev Parnas was lying… https://t.co/5VAcYuNzjj— Lis Power (@Lis Power) 1579188672.0
definitely a good sign for the president that his top propagandist so massively flubbed such a softball interview w… https://t.co/xhyoEZiUVX— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis) 1579189965.0
First thing Kellyanne says in response to the question about Parnas is: "Remember, people who go on TV on never un… https://t.co/Mv2YRzQHAT— Jennifer Hayden (@Jennifer Hayden) 1579188007.0
How hard is it to say Yes or No? https://t.co/hhXPTAY28a— Hawthorne The Cruel (@Hawthorne The Cruel) 1579203111.0
Kellyanne: "there is a pattern here..." Yes gaslighting and pathological lying, surrogates under indictment and go… https://t.co/MNLtcsQDze— Robert Nemanich (@Robert Nemanich) 1579188351.0
@LisPower1 @atrupar What’s that about fake legitimacy coming from being on camera, @KellyannePolls? That’s the pot… https://t.co/lxAX3pq8pa— zach mcgams (@zach mcgams) 1579188406.0
Even Kellyanne's husband, Trump critic George Conway, retweeted Lis Power's skepticism.
Awkwardddddd https://t.co/VEkaCnPWLy— Lis Power (@Lis Power) 1579190562.0
Conway's reminder that Parnas wasn't under oath led some to call for him to testify under oath before the Senate in Trump's impeachment trial—something Parnas has repeatedly said he's eager to do.
You know, @KellyannePolls makes a good point here -- we really *should* get Lev Parnas to testify under oath about… https://t.co/5jFHu0bPT7— Kevin M. Kruse (@Kevin M. Kruse) 1579188888.0
@KellyannePolls hi. You said not to believe Parnas because he wasn't under oath. He has said he wants to testify u… https://t.co/Npt20x6bec— maryfitz (@maryfitz) 1579192178.0
@KellyannePolls I agree. Tv is tv, not a court of law. So it sounds like we agree. Parnas should be brought forwar… https://t.co/3MyqdT4zVF— Patrick Nash (@Patrick Nash) 1579193462.0
Part II of Rachel Maddow's interview with Lev Parnas airs on MSNBC tonight.