Headlines for January 16, 2020

A key figure in the impeachment saga spoke publicly for the first time about his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden. Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman and former associate of Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said in interviews with The New York Times, MSNBC and CNN that the president was fully aware of his activities. This is Parnas speaking with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. 

Rachel Maddow: “What do you think is the main inaccuracy or the main lie that’s being told that you feel like you can correct?”

Lev Parnas: “That the president didn’t know what was going on. President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all of my movements. He — I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president.”

This week, House Democrats released text messages Parnas exchanged with Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate from Connecticut, in which the two have threatening exchanges about Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. In the text messages, Parnas and Hyde discuss how Yovanovitch was under surveillance. After headlines, we’ll have the latest on the Ukraine scandal and the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

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