Politics State Dept official rejects claims of Ukrainian election meddling
Top Dem says ethics investigation into Devin Nunes likely
It follows a report that an associate of Rudy Giuliani has information on meetings the Republican allegedly had with the former Ukrainian prosecutor general.“Quite likely, without question,” House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) said when asked by MSNBC’s Joy Reid whether Nunes (R-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican and a longtime Trump ally, could be investigated.
The State Department’s No. 3 official on Tuesday flatly rejected a conspiracy theory pushed by President Donald Trump and his personal attorney that it was Ukraine who systematically interfered in the 2016 election, not Russia.
In a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on U.S. policy toward Russia, David Hale, the department’s undersecretary for political affairs, succinctly summed up the findings of the U.S. intelligence community in response to questioning from the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez.
“Secretary Hale, did Russia interfere in the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump?” the New Jersey Democrat asked.
Himes: Nunes pushed "fantastical conspiracy theories" at hearings
The No. 2 Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Nunes is promoting conspiracy theories to defend President Trump and cast doubt on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election."If you watched Devin Nunes for five minutes in these hearings, you know that he has given over to the, utterly, to the defense of the president and more importantly, to the propagation of fantastical conspiracy theories," Himes said on "Face the Nation" Sunday.
“Yes, the intelligence community assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at our presidential election,” Hale replied, reading from what appeared to be a prepared response.
“Was the Kremlin’s interference in our 2016 election a hoax?” Menendez followed up, echoing the president’s own language, and eliciting a swift “no” from Hale.
“Are you aware of any evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election?” Menendez continued, to which Hale responded: “I am not.”
Menendez then quoted from the, the former top Russia expert on the White House National Security Council, who two weeks ago described the theory pushed by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a “fictional narrative that is being perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
Pompeo suggests debunked Ukraine election meddling theory should be probed
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday suggested that Ukraine should be investigated over allegations that it interfered in the 2016 election, a debunked theory advanced by President Donald Trump that witnesses told the congressional impeachment inquiry was spread by Russian spy agencies. Pompeo was asked at a news conference if the United States should probe accusations of Ukrainian election meddling that Trump's fellow Republicans have raised in the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives probe into whether Trump abused his power for domestic political gain.
“Do you have any reason to disagree with Dr. Hill?” Menendez asked Hale on Tuesday.
“I do not,” he replied.
After more back and forth, Menendez returned to the subject. "Is our national security made stronger or weaker when members of the administration or members of Congress insist on repeating debunked Russian lies?" he asked.
"That does not serve our interest," Hale answered.
Hale’s series of responses is a departure from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whoa week ago that he saw merit in investigating such allegations.
“Any time there is information that indicates that any country has messed with American elections, we not only have a right, but a duty to make sure we chase that down,” he said during a press briefing in Foggy Bottom.
And Trump, too, hasthe debunked claims that have formed — in part — the basis of his criticisms of Ukraine and set off the series of events resulting in the impeachment inquiry winding its way through the House.
Uruguay opposition claims victory in presidential vote, official candidate concedes
Uruguay's conservative opposition party claimed victory as the official count of Sunday's presidential election concluded on Thursday, and the candidate of the governing party conceded defeat. First, there was a tweet from the opposition National Party saying its candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had won the election. Minutes later, also by way of Twitter, Daniel Martinez of the ruling Broad Front party conceded defeat.
Trump and Giuliani have found some support for their claims among other, who Hill lacerated in her public testimony for giving voice to the conspiracy theory.
“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,” Hill told the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, adding that she refused to aid their efforts "to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016.”
That conclusion was borne out in special counsel Robert Mueller's nearly two-year investigation into 2016 election interference, and the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee separatelyno evidence that Ukraine waged a top-down interference campaign akin to the Kremlin’s efforts to help Trump win in 2016.
Rudy Giuliani is in Ukraine as impeachment marches forward in Washington .
Rudy Giuliani traveled to Ukraine this week as part of his ongoing effort to promote theories of Ukrainian election meddling as part of a conservative documentary series.The president's personal attorney is meeting with current and former Ukrainian officials who have served as key sources for his questionable theories about Ukrainian corruption and election meddling as part of a documentary series by far-right network One American News Network (OAN) that is intended to discredit the impeachment process.
Witness denounces fictional Ukraine interference
(21 Nov 2019) A former White House Russia analyst sternly warned Republican lawmakers in the impeachment probe Thursday to quit pushing a "fictional" ...
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes Raises Question Of Ukrainian Election Meddling | TIME
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