Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin: 'Thank God' election interference accusations have stopped amid US 'political battles' Live coverage: Impeachment spotlight shifts to Fiona Hill, David Holmes As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target MORE said Wednesday that he was thankful "internal political battles" in the United States were putting an end to accusations that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
"We see what is going on there in the U.S. now," Putin said while speaking during an economic forum in the Russian capital, according to an English translation of his comments. "Thank God nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in the U.S. elections. Now theyre accusing Ukraine."
Here's how Putin feels about the impeachment hearings: "Thank God nobody is accusing us any more of interfering in the U.S. elections."
"Now they're accusing Ukraine" pic.twitter.com/zQ14uRgWKG
Putin's comments appeared to reference allegations at the center of the House impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE's dealings with Ukraine. During a July 25 phone call, Trumpurged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky toinvestigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Watergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump Overnight Defense Presented by Boeing Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs MORE, who is running for president, and a conspiracy theory related to the 2016 election.
Trump called on the Ukrainian leader tolook into matters related to CrowdStrike, a U.S.-based internet security company that initiallyexaminedthe breach of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers in 2016. The request was an apparent reference to a conspiracy theory that casts doubt on the assessment that Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC.
There is no evidence to suggest that Ukraine was involved in any 2016 election interference. The U.S. intelligence community has also concluded that Russia sought to interfere in the election to harm Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic strategist laments 'low bar' for Biden debate performance Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel Trump to hold campaign rally in Pennsylvania next month MORE's candidacy and help Trump.
Trump's promotion of the theory has gained attention amid the House impeachment inquiry, with some Republicans defending the president's motives.
Once you understand that Ukrainian officials were cooperating directly with President Trump's political opponents to undermine his candidacy, it's easy to understand why the president would want to learn the full truth about these operations and why he would be skeptical of Ukraine," Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHill, Holmes offer damaging impeachment testimony: Five takeaways Putin: 'Thank God' election interference accusations have stopped amid US 'political battles' The Hill's 12:30 Report Presented by Johnson & Johnson Witness dismisses 'fictional' GOP claims of Ukraine meddling MORE (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said during the fifth day of public impeachment hearings.
Nunes's comments came afterFiona Hill, a former top Russia analyst for the White House, strongly disputed the narrative that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
Based on questions and statements I have heard, 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, Hillsaid in heropening statementThursday.
This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves," she continued.
Hill isn't the first former administration official to dismiss the theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election; Tom Bossert, a former White House homeland security adviser, said in late Septemberthat the allegation was a "completely debunked" conspiracy theory.
He added that he communicated that to Trump during his time working in the administration.
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