Lindsey Graham Rebukes Election Meddling Conspiracies at Horowitz Hearing: It Was Russia, ‘Not the Ukrainians’
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reiterated on Wednesday that it was Russia, “not the Ukrainians,” who meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a comment that rebuked Republican-led conspiracy theories about Ukraine supposedly interfering in the race to help Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to undermine the Trump campaign.
“How the hell did this whole thing start? What got us here today?” said Graham during his committee’s hearing on Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the origins of the Russia investigation. “We know the Russians are messing in our elections.”
“It was the Russians, ladies and gentlemen,” continued the senior South Carolina senator, “who stole the Democratic National Committee emails, [John] Podesta’s emails, and screwed around with Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t the Ukrainians — it was the Russians.”
“And they’re coming after us again. So to be concerned that the Russians are messing with presidential campaigns was a legitimate concern,” he added.
Earlier this month, Graham shot down the so-called “CrowdStrike conspiracy,” which has been rolled out by Trump’s allies to defend his decision to with hold military aid to Ukraine as it alleges the country colluded with Democrats in 2016 to stop the FBI from investigating who was actually behind the DNC hack.
“It was the Russians. I’m 1,000% confident that the hack of the DNC was by Russian operatives, no one else,” Graham said on December 3. “The Ukraine, they had zero to do with the hacking of the DNC and the stealing of the emails … I have no knowledge that the Ukraine did anything to interfere with our elections other than press reports and to suggest that we know that I think would be a stretch because I don’t think anybody knows that.”