Trump Said He Believes Ukraine Meddled In 2016 Election Because “Putin Told Me”
According to The Washington Post, President Donald Trump once said he believes it was Ukraine and not Russia that interfered in the 2016 presidential election, because that is what the Russian president told him.
CNN reported that a former White House official told the newspaper that Trump explicitly stated Russian President Vladimir Putin “told me” it was Ukraine that meddled in the U.S. election. Trump reportedly believes Ukraine was trying to keep him from winning the presidency.
Numerous former officials told The Post that Trump’s belief in the narrative — which runs counter to U.S. intelligence officials’ determination that it was Russia that interfered — likely has been influenced by Putin himself.
The president’s insistence on the conspiracy became more significant after he met with Putin at the G20 summit in Germany in 2017, the officials said.
But CNN noted that during the course of the House’s impeachment inquiry, “at least nine witnesses testified that claims of Ukrainian meddling were fabricated by the Russians or unsupported by the evidence.”
Trump remains convinced, however, that the Ukraine conspiracy theory is true. This theory “posits that Ukraine framed Russia for the hacks and coordinated with Democratic operatives in the US to smear him” and that “the US intelligence assessment blaming Russia was written by anti-Trump bureaucrats whose conclusions cannot be trusted.”
The House voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday, largely based on his efforts to extract investigations from Ukraine’s government into his political rival in exchange for military aid and a coveted White House meeting for the country’s new president.