President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE said Thursday that he doesn’t know the two associates of his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview FEC finds Twitter didn't break law by blocking spread of Hunter Biden story Juan Williams: The toxic legacy of Trump's corruption MORE who were arrested on campaign finance charges, but acknowledged he may have been photographed with them at some point.
“I don’t know those gentleman. Now, it’s possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House.
“I don’t know them, I don’t know about them, I don’t know what they do,” Trump added. “I don’t know, maybe they were clients of Rudy’s. You’d have to ask Rudy.”
Trump acknowledged Thursday that he may have been photographed with the two men at a fundraiser.
Fruman and Parnas were arrested late Wednesday on charges that they conspired to illegally funnel foreign money to U.S. politicians in order to buy political influence.
The indictment unsealed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan alleges that they and two other defendants “conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates’ governments.”
Fruman and Parnas are business associates of Giuliani who reportedly worked with him to press Ukraine to investigate unsubstantiated allegations against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE and 2016 election interference.
The indictment unsealed Thursday does not name Giuliani nor does it claim he knew of or was involved in the alleged scheme. But the developments have increased scrutiny on Trump’s personal attorney and the connections between the president’s inner circle and the two businessmen.
Photographs of Frumas and Parnas with Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE, the president's eldest son, have also circulated on social media.
Frumas and Parnas, who donated to a political action committee that supported Trump, were arrested at Dulles International Airport Wednesday before attempting to board an international flight with one-way tickets. They made an initial appearance in court Thursday afternoon in Virginia.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said during a news conference Thursday that their investigation is ongoing.
CNN reported Thursday that Giuliani’s financial dealings with Frumas and Parnas were being scrutinized by federal investigators.
When asked if he was concerned that Giuliani may be indicted, Trump told reporters that he hoped that wouldn’t be the case. Trump also said he hadn't spoken about the matter with Giuliani.
"I haven't spoken to Rudy about it I will say this, from what I heard ... they said we have nothing to do with it."
Updated at 5:18 p.m.