Five presidential conspiracy theories debunked: Trump, Russia and Ukraine
Five presidential conspiracy theories
The Russian government conducted a sophisticated influence operation to sway the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor.
Trumpe had called Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation a “witch hunt” that resulted in his “complete and total exoneration.
The “deep state” out to get him. His predecessor, Barack Obama, tapped his phones, and the FBI “spied” on his campaign.
Trump’s claims about Ukraine, which have touched off the current impeachment inquiry. It can also be traced directly to Russia’s 2016 election interference. Namely, Trump’s efforts to finger another culprit – Ukraine – even though his own advisers had warned him that Ukraine played no such role.
“It’s not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked,” Tom Bossert, Trump’s former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, told ABC News.
Indeed, U.S. intelligence officials concluded nearly three years ago that Russian President Vladimir Putin as culpable.
A January 2017 report from the Director of National Intelligence stated that Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016. That aimed at the US presidential election.
Russia aimed to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.
Now, Washington is bracing for a new round of allegations and spin on Monday. The Department of Justice’s internal watchdog to release a much anticipated report on the origins of the Russia investigation.
The guide to the facts — and the fictions — behind some of Trump’s Russia-Ukraine assertions now in the news.
Trump’s ‘spying’ theory
Trump has repeatedly accused the FBI of spying on his 2016 presidential campaign. “My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on,” he tweeted in May of this year. “… this was TREASON!”
“They were spying on my campaign,” Trump told Fox & Friends in a Nov. 22 interview. “I think this goes to the highest level. I hate to say it, I think it’s a disgrace. They thought I was going to win and they said, ‘How can we stop him?'”
What we know
There is no evidence that the FBI spied on Trump’s campaign. The Department of Justice’s internal watchdog, Michael Horowitz, is expected to confirm that the FBI did not place any informants inside the campaign or place any wiretaps on Trump’s phones.
The FBI did investigate whether Trump campaign officials conspired with Russians to sway the outcome of the election. As part of that probe, they sought a court order to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser.
The FBI believed that Page was “collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government” in an effort to interfere in the presidential election, according to FBI documents released after USA TODAY and other media organizations sued the agency.