Some Republican lawmakers continue to misleadingly say that the government of Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election on the same level as Russian Federation, despite the GOP-led committee looking into the matter and finding little to support the allegation.
With House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump centering on the allegation that he withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for politically advantageous investigations while Ukraine was at war with Russian Federation, this latest news suggests rank and file Congressional Republicans have concluded that even with a dearth of supporting evidence, publicly deriding Ukraine for interfering in the election will provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump-requested investigations.
"Our intelligence community and the representatives today from the Department of State indicate that there was not meddling by Ukraine in our election", Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
"Did Russia interfere in 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump?" asked Menendez, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the committee.
Read the full report on The Tribune's website.
In a follow up comment to CNN regarding his stance on Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 race, Graham stated, "I've got no doubt that it was the Russians who stole the DNC emails. It wasn't Ukraine. Russia was behind the stolen DNC emails and [John] Podesta and all that good stuff".
"The Ukraine, they had zero to do with the hacking of the DNC and the stealing of the emails".
A low-level DNC official did make contacts in 2016 to research Paul Manafort's ties in Ukraine - Manafort was then Trump's campaign manager - but the effort appears to have been brief. "All I've seen is press reports and nobody's validated those reports", he continued.
"I am not", Hale said. I don't think they changed the outcome.
That Republicans were witting tools of Russian intelligence was revealed by Dr. Fiona Hill, a former official at the U.S. National Security Council specializing in Russian and European affairs, who testified at the House's Trump's impeachment hearings in November.
House Republicans have also pushed the narrative that Ukraine was opposed to Trump and worked against him in 2016.