Trump And The GOP Are Now Witting Assets Of Russia
“I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.” – Dr. Fiona Hill to House Republicans
There is only one word to describe the recent actions of the Republican Party: treacherous. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent two years investigating whether the Trump Campaign wittingly conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. Mueller found evidence of collusion in the Trump Campaign’s coordination of Wikileaks dumps, but not enough to charge a criminal conspiracy. At this very moment, President Trump, Republican representatives, senators, and pundits are wittingly pushing a disinformation campaign straight from the Russian government… again. Russia’s attack on American democracy never stopped.
Over the last month, President Trump and House Republicans have been pushing a conspiracy theory that tries to frame Ukraine for Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. On Friday, former Russia expert on the National Security Council Dr. Fiona Hill took House Republicans to school. Dr. Hill delivered testimony that essentially depicted the entire Republican Party as not even unwitting perpetrators of Russia’s active measures, but knowing accomplices. Dr. Hill’s testimony debunked the “harmful” Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory and sent an unmistakable message to Republicans:
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“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
This was surely not the first time these lawmakers had heard that this was disinformation straight from the Kremlin. We’ve since learned, thanks to a report from The New York Times, that in recent weeks, intelligence officials briefed Senators on Russia’s yearslong disinformation campaign to frame Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 election. The New York Times article also had a bombshell detail that indicated President Trump has spoken directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin about this conspiracy theory:
That muddy brew worked its way into American information ecosystems, sloshing around until parts of it reached Mr. Trump, who has also spoken with Mr. Putin about allegations of Ukrainian interference. Mr. Trump also brought up the assertions of Ukrainian meddling in his July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, which is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into whether he abused his power by asking for a public commitment to investigations he stood to gain from personally.
But wait, it gets worse. Lev Parnas, recently indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, is claiming that House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) is implicated in the extortion plot he’s been defending. Parnas claims Nunes went to Vienna last December to meet with former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin where Nunes spoke about the need for those probes into the Bidens and this very same Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory.
Dr. Hill’s testimony and the Senate briefing did not stop President Trump and his allies from continuing to push this false narrative.
“They gave the server to CrowdStrike … that’s what the word is” — here’s Trump pushing the absolutely insane, debunked conspiracy theory that the DNC’s server is in Ukraine and that Russia was framed for interfering in the 2016 election pic.twitter.com/PXClTXfJhd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 22, 2019
WALLACE: Senator Kennedy, who do you believe was responsible for hacking the DNC & Clinton campaign? Russia or Ukraine?
KENNEDY: I don’t know. Nor do you.
W: The entire intel community says it was Russia.
K: Right. But it could be Ukraine. Fiona Hill is entitled to her opinion pic.twitter.com/KQAUkWeJIo
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 24, 2019
.@SenatorWicker: Fiona Hill is correct that Russia tried to interfere in 16. Also, Ukrainians tried to interfere
TODD: Isn’t there a big difference? Individual Ukrainians who didn’t like Trump, vs. Putin ordering a full-fledged interference campaign?
W: I’m concerned about both pic.twitter.com/pZhzBIX1cR
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 24, 2019
Rep. @leezeldin just went onto CNN and lied endlessly.
He pushed the Ukrainian meddling conspiracy theory, smeared Hunter Biden, and defended Trump’s lawlessness.
Let’s make this clear: if you’re still pushing the conspiracy theory, you are being a witting asset of Russia.
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) November 24, 2019
So, in a nutshell, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly spoke to President Trump about the Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory. Trump mobilized his entire party to push this narrative. Aside from a counter-narrative to the Ukraine scandal, this can also be perceived as an extension of President Trump’s own efforts to undermine the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. This doesn’t even begin to touch on President Trump’s countless actions of capitulation towards Russia.
The party that once declared “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” is now the party of “Mr. Putin, what can we do for you?”