GOP senator defends Trump amid Parnas recording: 'Certainly the president meets a lot of people'

Republican Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump defense rests, GOP struggles to bar witnesses GOP confident of win on witnesses MORE (Okla.) defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE Sunday amid newly released audio of a conversation between Trump and Lev Parnas that raises questions about whether Trump lied about not knowing the indicted businessman. 

Lankford said the audio of the meeting of Trump and Parnas, a Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine Trump flexes pardon power with high-profile clemencies MORE associate, doesn't show that Trump was lying when he said he did not know the Ukrainian businessman. 

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"It's a dinner, 90 minutes of a dinner, hard to be able to say to the president who meets 1,000 people a day, 'OK, do you know this person who was at a dinner with you a year and a half ago?" Lankford said on CNN's "State of the Union." 

CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperDemocrats ramp up attacks on opponents in final pitch before New Hampshire George Conway: 'Verdict of history' will be on Romney's side Buttigieg says Democrats must 'galvanize,' not 'polarize' voters MORE pressed Lankford, saying that the newly released audio shows Trump did not tell the truth. 

Lankford responded by suggesting that it is reasonable for him to not recall meeting someone he had at least one lengthy conversation with. 

"You meet a lot of people, I meet a lot of people, certainly the president meets a lot of people," Lankford said. 

The recording from the 2018 meeting reportedly included discussions of dismissing then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchThe Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength Congress looks to strengthen hand in State Department following impeachment MORE

Parnas is indicted on campaign finance charges. 

He provided information regarding communications about the pressure campaign in Ukraine to the House earlier this month. Trump has repeatedly denied knowing Parnas.