In his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Donald Trump appeared to use the threat of withholding military aid to force Zelensky to investigate Trump’s potential 2020 election opponent Joe Biden. Based on a baseless conspiracy theory, Trump hinted in the call that it was Ukraine, and not Russia, who meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on the side of the Democrats, not Trump. An official transcript of the call was released online Wednesday by the White House.
There is no evidence to back the theory, which contradicts findings of the U.S. intelligence agencies, as well as special counsel Robert Mueller, who indicted a group of Russians allegedly involved with the election attack. Yet the theory is a major topic of discussion on Russia state television.
There, pro-Kremlin commentators have enthusiastically endorsed the conspiracy theory, according to investigative journalist and Russia expert Julia Davis, who published her report in The Daily Beast on Sunday.
According to Davis, who closely monitors news and opinion programs broadcast on Russian state TV, Biden is generally described by the Russian commentators as “Trump’s most dangerous rival.” One top commentator on the state-run Rossiya 24 channel openly advocates an investigation of Biden, taking the conspiracy theory even farther than Trump and Giuliani have so far been willing to do, according to Davis.
#Russia's state TV host Olga Skabeeva says that since #Ukraine took the money from the U.S., it is now obligated to deliver the kompromat on Biden.
Panelist asks her: "Are you on Trump's or Russia's side, Olga?"
Skabeeva responds: "We elected him!" pic.twitter.com/oXDolkWE0S
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 23, 2019
The commentator, Alexander Kareevsky, claimed on the Russian government-run channel that the investigation of Biden would “reveal” that the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine in July, 2014, which killed 298 people, was carried out by Ukraine on orders from U.S. President Barack Obama — an over-the-top charge for which there is zero evidence.
In fact, investigators determined that the commercial airliner was shot down by Russian forces, and the main suspects in the mass murder were members of Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU, with direct links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as The Inquisitr reported.
But other commentators have stuck to the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election. According to Davis, pundits on the nightly political talk program, The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, are “openly rooting” for an investigation that would “kill Biden, politically.”
Has there been communication between Trump, his associates, and Russia about the anti-Biden conspiracy theories? Answers to that question remain unclear. But on May 13, one week before the inauguration of Zelensky in Ukraine, Russian TV commentators claimed that Trump would ban top U.S. officials from attending the inauguration ceremony, as The Inquisitr reported.
While the claim seemed far-fetched at the time, a whistleblower complaint released Thursday by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee confirmed that Trump had, in fact, banned Vice President Mike Pence from attending Zelensky’s inauguration.
Whether the Russian state TV prediction was based on advance knowledge, or was just a wild guess, also remains unclear.