President Donald Trump and his allies continue to push the controversial theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election amid the impeachment probe into the president’s behavior related to Ukraine. But one Republican who doesn’t appear to be throwing their support behind such a theory is Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who suggested to reporters today that he has not seen evidence backing such alleged interference, Breitbart reported.
“I saw no evidence from our intelligence community nor from the representatives today from the Department of State that there is any evidence of any kind that suggests Ukraine interfered in our elections,” he said.
“We have ample evidence that Russia interfered in our elections.”
According to The Hill, Romney suggested that the intelligence community — likely referring to Robert Mueller’s report detailing Russian interference in the 2016 election — should be used as a guide for such theories.
“I do think that we have to adhere to the facts presented to us by our intelligence community,” Romney said, adding that “newspaper accounts” are not always accurate representations of the truth.
Romney’s position runs in opposition to many other Republicans fighting for Trump as he faces impeachment. Louisiana Senator John Kennedy recently said that both Russia and Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press with host Chuck Todd. During his appearance, Kennedy pointed to reports from the Financial Times, Politico, the Washington Examiner, and The Economist. Todd later claimed that Kennedy’s claims were only heard from one person outside of the United States: Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Recent actions by Russia:— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) December 3, 2019
❌Interfered in U.S. elections
❌Major upgrades to nuclear arsenal
❌Invaded Ukraine and Georgia
❌Aggressively invested in the Middle East
❌Development of new weapons
❌Violated INF treaty
We can’t allow Russia to continue down this dangerous path. pic.twitter.com/BBpRQz3A80
Kennedy’s promotion of the theory prompted MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough to claim that Kennedy — and other Republicans promoting the same theory — are turning themselves into “Russian assets.”
According to Scarborough, such theories push talking points that are beneficial to Russia — a belief that the top official on Russian affairs at the National Security Council, Fiona Hill, echoed during her testimony to House investigators last month. Hill suggested that the controversial theory of Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election is a “fictional narrative” that has been “perpetrated and propagated” by Russia. She claimed that pushing such theories helps Russia in its goal to sow dissent in U.S. politics to undermine and weaken its democracy.
Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik said that he believes that these controversial theories are being seized upon by the Republican Party due to a lack of an impeachment strategy. Zurawik said that Trump’s allies are using right-wing media to push these theories in hopes that they will help defend Trump from impeachment.