If you’re wondering just how far the Republican Party and this president are gone, look no further. A former senior White House official said President Trump told them that he knew Ukraine tried to keep him from getting elected because “Putin told me.”
And it’s not just one former White House official. It’s officials, plural. And this is FBI debunked theory upon which the Republican Party has rested its entire reputation.
In a Washington Post scoop, Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey and Carol D. Leonnig reveal that from the moment he took office, Trump has troubled his senior aides by claiming that Ukraine tried to keep him from winning the election.
“One former senior White House official said Trump even stated so explicitly at one point, saying he knew Ukraine was the real culprit because ‘Putin told me.'”
They report that not only did Trump float this theory from the beginning, but he got more insistent after… privately meeting with Putin in July of 2017, “according to multiple former officials familiar with his assertions.”
All of our intelligence agencies have told Trump and Republicans that this is a debunked conspiracy theory that helps Russia. But Republicans are still pushing it.
“The president’s intense resistance to the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia systematically interfered in the 2016 campaign — and the blame he cast instead on a rival country — led many of his advisers to think that Putin himself helped spur the idea of Ukraine’s culpability, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.”
There is zero evidence of Ukraine trying to keep Trump from being elected. There is a pile of evidence – including a partial transcript of his own phone call that he provided – that Donald Trump tried to use Ukraine to get re-elected in 2020. There is also a pile of evidence that Donald Trump would not be in office right now if it were not for the help of Russia.
Republicans dismiss (as in, refuse to even read) all of the evidence of Russians helping Trump (and them, even if just by nature of top of the ticket power) get elected, even as Trump makes it clear that he will do anything Putin tells him to do and believe anything Putin tells him.
Donald Trump is what the left has long accused him of being: He is the puppet of a much smarter, more cunning adversary to the United States. Vladimir Putin is using Donald Trump as the Trojan Horse to get into the U.S. and unleash division, confusion, and ultimately undermine democracy and faith in our institutions because much like Trump, Putin can’t win the respect he so craves without cheating.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.