President Trump was having such a doozy of a morning that even the Fox & Friends team didn't seem to know what to make of it. Trump had phoned into the show only to give a lengthy and convoluted interview, at one point even hawking debunked conspiracy theories about Ukraine and prompting co-host Steve Doocy to gently try to get him to walk the comments back.
"It's interesting, it's very interesting, they have the server, right, from the DNC, from the Democratic National Committee," Trump began. Co-host Brian Kilmeade intervened to clarify, "Who has the server?"
"The FBI went in and told them 'get out of here, we're not giving it to you,'" Trump said by way of answer. "They gave the server to Crowdstrike, or whatever it's called, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still want to see that server … Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?"
Doocy intervened: "Are you sure they did that?" he asked carefully. "Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?"
"Well, that's what the word is," Trump said.
The president appeared to be referring throughout to a debunked conspiracy theory that alleges the Ukrainians, not the Russians, meddled in the 2016 election. Nevertheless, the U.S. intelligence community has unanimously agreed that it was Russia that was behind the DNC hack; experts recently have gone as far as to say that efforts to redirect blame toward Ukraine are actually being engineered by Moscow.
Fiona Hill, the Russian expert who testified Thursday at the impeachment inquiry, had warned Republicans to "please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests," including the "fictional narrative" about Ukraine. Listen to Trump's comments below.
Remember, "Crowdstrike" is the conspiracy theory that Ukraine and the DNC framed Russia. Here's President Trump again pushing this claim, supported by Republicans: that Russia is innocent, didn't interfere in the 2016 election. Who did it? Ukraine and the DNC. pic.twitter.com/mmSjgKTQJq
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 22, 2019
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