Fiona Hill Tears Down One of Trump’s Favorite Ukraine Conspiracy Theories

Devin Nunes might explode reading this one.

Caroline Brehman/ZUMA

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Since the start of the Ukraine scandal, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have steadily pushed a debunked theory suggesting that it was Ukraine—not Russia, as the entire US intelligence community has concluded—that meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking House intelligence committee member, floated the discredited allegation as recently as yesterday during his questioning of Gordon Sondland. 

But judging from an opening statement provided by Fiona Hill, the former top White House adviser on Russia testifying this morning, Nunes may want to take a break from fanning those flames today. That’s because, from the outset, Hill makes crystal clear her refusal to entertain that “false narrative,” as Russia’s interference is “beyond dispute.” Here’s what she’ll tell the probe:

Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.

The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan Congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.

The no-nonsense statement also appears to take aim at key witnesses who have refused to testify before the inquiry. One of them is former national security adviser John Bolton, Hill’s former boss, who has refused to cooperate with the investigation despite publicly hinting that he has valuable information in regards to impeachment. “I believe that those who have information that the Congress deems relevant have a legal and moral obligation to provide it,” Hill will tell investigators.

For more on the debunked theories Trump allies have seized in the wake of impeachment—and how those theories parallel Vladimir Putin’s views—read my colleague Dan Friedman’s report here.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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