In his new environs, Parnas said, suddenly anything appeared possible: “I figured, once this is over, we’ll be kings.”

Still, he said, he understood from the start that he and Fruman, who often wore T-shirts paired with gold chains, did not fit in Giuliani’s circle.

“No one understood it,” Parnas said of their constant presence by his side. “I didn’t understand it.”

But at the time, he said, he believed Giuliani enjoyed their company — and that Giuliani appreciated that the duo were a solicitous entourage, willing to drop anything to join him at his favorite haunts, stay out late while he drank scotch and pick up the tab.

Now Parnas believes that the president’s lawyer drew the two Soviet-born men close after he realized they had connections in Ukraine, a Giuliani obsession. The former New York mayor was convinced Ukrainians had worked against Trump in the 2016 election and were in possession of evidence of Biden’s corruption.

“I think we were recruited,” Parnas said. “It was the perfect storm.”