Appearing Friday morning on CNN, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) invoked a long-debunked conspiracy theory at the center of the Ukraine scandal and the House’s impeachment inquiry, defending the president’s now-infamous July call to the Ukrainian president as simply trying to get to the bottom of the “CrowdStrike server.”
With polls showing a majority of Americans support impeachment following allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, CNN host Jim Sciutto asked Waltz whether a U.S. president should seek election assistance from a foreign country.
“Look, I am not comfortable if there is a clear-cut quid pro quo, then, yeah that makes me very uncomfortable and we should take a hard look at that,” Waltz replied before claiming the call transcript does not show that.
Waltz went on to call for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to immediately hold an “up or down” vote on impeachment, saying if Trump’s actions are impeachable then they shouldn’t mind voting on it now. This then prompted him to address Trump publicly urging China to also look into Biden before taking a conspiratorial detour.
“I don’t like asking China, who is an adversary, let me be clear there,” Waltz declared. “But I do think you can interpret that, and I do, as looking into corruption and looking backwards at 2016 at the CrowdStrike server.”
Sciutto, meanwhile, did not push back on or address Waltz’s claims.
The Florida lawmaker was referencing the insane conspiracy that claims the Russian government wasn’t responsible for hacking the DNC server and John Podesta’s emails during the 2016 election. Instead, the theory goes, CrowdStrike—which investigated the breach in 2016—framed Russia because its co-founder is Ukrainian. (He’s not, by the way.) Proponents of the theory also allege that the DNC server is actually somewhere in Ukraine, with Trumpworld believing this is where Hillary Clinton’s missing emails can also be found.
Besides bringing up Biden during his call with the Ukrainian president, Trump, according to the memo of the call, also said, “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people. The server, they say Ukraine has it.”