President Donald Trump took to ‘Fox & Friends’ on Friday morning to promote a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory that claims Ukraine is connected to a hacked Democratic National Committee server from the 2016 election, prompting host Steve Doocy to attempt to scramble to get Trump to walk back the claim.
“They have the server from the DNC, Democratic National Committee,” an unhinged Trump yelled into his phone.
“Who has the server?” co-host Brian Kilmeade asked.
“The FBI went in and they told them, ‘Get out of here! We’re not giving it to you.’ They gave the server to CrowdStrike or whatever its called, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian.” (The Daily Beast notes that CrowdStrike is not owned by a Ukrainian.)
“And I still want to see that server,” Trump demanded. “You know, the FBI has never gotten that server. That’s a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?”
“Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?” co-host Steve Doocey asked.
“That’s what the word is,” Trump responded. “That’s what I asked actually on my phone call, you know. I asked it very point-blank because we’re looking for corruption. There’s tremendous corruption. Why should we be giving hundreds of millions of dollars to countries when there’s this kind of corruption?”
When even Steve Doocy is trying to get you to stop spewing conspiracies
TRUMP: They have the server from the DNC
KILMEADE: Who has the server?
TRUMP: They gave the server to Crowdstrike, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian.
DOOCY: Are you SURE they did that? pic.twitter.com/sTWJehRWYG
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) November 22, 2019
Trump made the claim a day after a former White House official, Fiona Hill, reprimanded Republicans for promoting conspiracy theories that Ukraine, and not Russia, was a driver of foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Hill on Thursday asked lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee that in the course of their work they “please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”
“The fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes,” she testified.
“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,” Hill said in a statement. “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
Hill: "In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance the Russian interests…These fictions are harmful even if they're deployed for purely domestic political purposes." pic.twitter.com/09nEoi4rUM
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) November 21, 2019
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman also testified this week that the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election is “a Russian narrative that President [Vladimir] Putin has promoted.”
Are you aware of any evidence to support the theory that the Ukrainian government interfered in 2016?
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) November 19, 2019
The debunked conspiracy theory, which is frequently referred to as CrowdStrike by right-wing news outlets, is based on the idea that Ukraine was complicit in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee to create false electronic records that Russia was behind the hacking.
Trump directly raised CrowdStrike during his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that helped trigger the impeachment inquiry,
“I would like you to do us a favor though,” Trump said, and “find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike.”