A March 2014 photograph showing Donald Trump with a recently indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani appears to have been taken at a fashion show hosted by Ivanka Trump at the Trump National Doral in Florida, a CNN KFile review reveals.
CNN’s KFile identified that the photo with Trump and Lev Parnas was apparently taken at a fashion show at the Cadillac Championship, an annual professional golf tournament. The fashion show was for the luxury fashion brand Carolina Herrera on March 7 and was also attended by Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr. and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner, who is now a senior White House adviser along with his wife. Donald Trump spoke at the event, according to photos and a video posted on YouTube.
Parnas, along with his associate Igor Fruman, were arrested last week trying to leave the country and indicted on criminal charges for allegedly funneling foreign money into US elections. The two men are associates of Giuliani, an attorney for the President, and are connected to efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The photo of Parnas and Trump was first reported by Politico on Saturday, but the outlet did not report on the circumstances surrounding it. An additional photo of the crowd from the event, found by CNN’s KFile, shows Parnas mingling in the crowd. CNN’s KFile identified the event by matching pictures posted online by various photographers and attendees with the date of the event.
Parnas’ attendance at a Trump event in 2014 raises questions about whether he had any existing relationship with the President. Trump said last week he didn’t know Parnas or Fruman.
“I don’t know those gentlemen. Now it’s possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody, I have a picture with everybody here,” Trump said.
The photo of Trump and Parnas smiling side-by-side was posted on Facebook on March 8, 2014, by user Shawn Jaros, who indicated in subsequent posts that he was a business associate of Parnas. Jaros declined to comment on the photo, as did John Dowd, a lawyer for Parnas.
A reception took place following the event that was open to ticket holders for the tournament that day, with VIP options available for luxury ticket holders.
A Getty Images photo of the crowd at the event shows Parnas standing in the crowd in the same bright blue shirt with a gray collar he wore in his photo with Trump. A small set of tables similar to those where Trump sat with his children near the stage can be seen off to the side. In one picture, posted on Facebook, Trump and his son Eric can be seen chatting with a guest.
Representatives for the Trump Organization did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the event. A White House spokesperson for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump declined to comment.