In Secret Recording, Trump Associates Compare Him to Jewish Messiah

Lev Parnas can be heard explaining to Trump that the Messiah is 'the person that has come to save the whole world'

JTA
Marcy Oster
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President Donald Trump smiles while speaking at a campaign rally in Ohio, January 9, 2020.
President Donald Trump smiles while speaking at a campaign rally in Ohio, January 9, 2020.Credit: Jacquelyn Martin,AP

In a secretly recorded video of a dinner with President Donald Trump, businessmen and Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman draw a parallel between the president and the Messiah.

In the video Trump can be heard telling an aide to “take out” then-United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during a donor dinner in 2018 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The video was released on Saturday by Joseph Bondy, the lawyer representing Parnas in the campaign finance violations case against the two businessmen who were part of the alleged effort at the center of the current impeachment trial to pressure the Ukraine government to announce an investigation into Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Near the end of the 80-minute cell phone recording of the dinner reported to have been attended by donors to the America First Action Super Pac, Parnas presents to Trump what he says is a gift from “the head rabbi of Ukraine” and some rabbis in Israel. He explains that according to Jewish numerology, known as gematria, the letters in Trump’s name add up to 424, which is the same total as the Messiah.

Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and Russian born businessman Igor Fruman.
Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and Russian born businessman Igor Fruman.Credit: Reuters Staff/ REUTERS

The gift, which apparently references the numerology, can not be seen on the recording so it is not clear what it is.

“It’s like a miracle,” Fruman is heard telling Trump on the recording.

Parnas goes on to explain that the Messiah is “the person that has come to save the whole world.  So it’s like you’re the savior of the Ukraine.”

When it is clear that Trump does not understand the significance of the numerology or the Messiah, Parnas tells him to ask his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, about it, saying that Kushner “will explain it to you.”