Senator John Kennedy, who has repeatedly suggested that Ukraine may have meddled in the 2016 election, dodged a question about the baseless accusation as he entered an elevator with Mitt Romney, who said in a statement today that he has seen “no evidence” of Ukrainian election interference.
Senate Republicans are offering a range of answers on whether they believe the accusation that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, a baseless claim peddled by the Kremlin and echoed by Trump and some of his allies.
Some GOP senators have argued Ukraine might have meddled in the election alongside other countries like Russia, but a handful of lawmakers — including Utah senator Mitt Romney — have placed the blame for 2016 election interference squarely on the Kremlin, as the US intelligence community has.
Trump lawyer says subpoena for financial records is ‘invalid’
Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for the president, has just issued a statement insisting the congressional subpoena for Trump’s financial records is “invalid as issued.”
The statement comes after a federal appeals court ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capitol One must hand over documents in connection to the subpoena, but Sekulow suggested Trump’s legal team may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Hale says he has seen no evidence of Ukraine election meddling
David Hale, the undersecretary of state who testified last month during the public impeachment hearings, told the Senate foreign relations committee that he has seen no evidence of Ukraine having meddled in the 2016 election.
Trump’s Republican allies have floated the baseless claim that Ukraine interfered in the election to substantiate the president’s request for an investigation into the conspiracy theory.
But Hale pointed out that the US intelligence community has firmly concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and Fiona Hill, the former top White House expert on Russia, testified during the impeachment hearings that this baseless accusation against Ukraine is a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services.” Asked whether he had any reason to disagree with Hill, Hale said, “I do not.”
Trump talked to reporters three times today — appearing alongside Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. All together, the US president spoke to the press for more than two hours today.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House oversight committee are keeping up their messaging campaign against the impeachment inquiry by … photo-shopping chairman Adam Schiff’s face into a poster for the movie “Back to the Future.”
Speaking to reporters just now in London, Trump called Schiff a “maniac,” a “deranged human being” and a “very sick man” for his handling of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump announces G7 summit will be held at Camp David
Trump has now wrapped up his news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during which the US president announced the June G7 summit would be held at Camp David.
The president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, had previously announced the summit would be held at Trump’s resort in Doral, Florida, but that decision was quickly reversed amid intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans.
Ironically, when Mulvaney announced the initial choice of Doral, he claimed that the past G7 site of Camp David had been a “complete disaster.” “In fact, I understand the folks who participated in it hated it and thought it was a miserable place to have the G7,” Mulvaney said at the time.
Trump calls Schiff ‘deranged human being’
Sitting next to the Canadian prime minister in London, Trump railed against the House impeachment inquiry, calling intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff a “deranged human being.”
Echoing past comments, the president insisted Democrats have gone “crazy” over impeachment and said they should be “ashamed” of themselves for how they have handled the inquiry.
Trump just claimed to reporters that he does not follow the stock market after the Dow hit a one-month low following the president’s comments that he does not have a “deadline” for reaching a trade deal with China.
In reality, Trump has repeatedly boasted about the state of the stock market and has demanded credit for its rallies while shaking off responsibility for its trade-related tumbles.
Sitting alongside Justin Trudeau, Trump said Canada must increase its financial contribution to Nato, suggesting the country should be put on a “payment plan” to up its defense spending for the alliance.
The Canadian prime minister pushed back by pointing out his country has increased its Nato spending by 70% in recent years and insisted Canada is a key partner in the alliance.