Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested in a Tuesday press conference that a conspiracy theory that Ukraine and not Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 is a legitimate line of inquiry.
Asked if the U.S. and Ukraine should investigate whether “Ukraine and not Russia hacked the DNC,” Pompeo, who previously served as CIA director, replied: “Anytime there is information that indicates that any country has messed with American elections, we not only have a right but a duty to make sure we chase that down.”
The CIA, shortly before Pompeo took office, concluded along with other U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia hacked the DNC server and stole internal emails during the 2016 election.
“I can assure you that there were many countries that were actively engaged in trying to undermine American democracy, our rule of law, the fundamental understandings we have here in the United States, and you should know we were diligently, diligently working to make sure we addressed each of them with every tool of American power that we had,” Pompeo continued.
“To protect our elections, America should leave no stone unturned, so whatever nation it is that we have information that so much as suggests that there might have been interference, or an effort to interfere in our elections, we have an obligation to make sure that the American people get to go to the ballot box, cast their ballots in a way that is un-impacted by these malevolent actors trying to undermine our western democratic values.”
Last week, Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council director for Russia, testified before the impeachment inquiry that Ukranian election interference in 2016 was “a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.” In President Trump’s fateful July 25 call with Ukranian President Volodomyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky for the “favor” of the Ukranians investigating the theory ahead of a potential White House meeting. Pompeo was on that call.
As well, after Trump suggested in a tweet that he would be open to Pompeo testifying before that inquiry, Pompeo said Tuesday in response: “When the time is right, all good things happen.”