Putin Thrilled With GOP’s Ukraine Conspiracy: “No One Is Accusing Us Anymore”
Russian President Vladimir Putin could not be more pleased with the Republican conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, according to Politico.
Putin said during an economic forum on Wednesday that the “political battles” in the U.S. have taken the heat off of Russia.
“Thank God,” he said, “no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore; now they’re accusing Ukraine.”
Several Republican lawmakers have pushed the discredited theory — which holds that Ukrainian officials worked to help then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — as part of their defense of President Donald Trump’s activities regarding Ukraine.
The president faces likely impeachment over his decision to withhold U.S. military aid to the country, as well as a face-to-face meeting with Ukraine’s president, until Ukrainian officials agreed to investigate the 2016 election and Trump’s potential political rival, Joe Biden.
During her impeachment testimony on Thursday, former National Security Council official and Russia expert Dr. Fiona Hill blasted Republicans for pushing the “fictional narrative” that Ukraine interfered in the election rather than Russia.
“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” Hill said. “I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine—not Russia—attacked us in 2016.”
She continued: “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes. President Putin and the Russian security services operate like a Super PAC. They deploy millions of dollars to weaponize our own political opposition research and false narratives. When we are consumed by partisan rancor, we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each another, degrade our institutions, and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy.”