Dec 3, 2019

GOP Sen. Richard Burr: "Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) claimed without evidence to NBC News Monday that Ukraine favored Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election — comparing the allegation to Russian interference in the same race.

Every elected official in the Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton. Is that very different than the Russians being for Donald Trump?"

Why it matters: Republicans are using a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election to justify President Trump's decision to freeze congressionally approved aid to the country.

  • That freeze is at the center of an ongoing impeachment inquiry against the president.

What they're saying: Burr stated that he doesn't "think there’s any question that elected officials in Ukraine had a favorite in the election."

  • When asked if he would consider that as "meddling," Burr responded: "I mean, you’ll have to define meddling, but that was something that was publicly out there."
  • "It was called meddling when it was just Russia had a preference on who would win. And I'm saying, you can't go any further than that until somebody investigates Ukraine, if you want to find out there was more that went on," Burr said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The difference between Russia and Ukraine on election meddling

Data: ProQuest; Chart: Axios Visuals

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said this week that Ukraine meets the standard for election meddling that people first held Russia to. But that's not what the numbers show.

Why it matters: While Burr didn't draw a moral equivalence between Russia — which committed several crimes on U.S. soil during the 2016 election — and what we know about Ukraine, he muddled the debate in that direction.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

Cruz promotes conspiracy that Ukraine "blatantly interfered" in U.S. election

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Ukraine "blatantly interfered" in the 2016 election, repeating a conspiracy theory that experts warn has been promoted by Russian intelligence services.

Go deeperArrowDec 8, 2019

Sen. John Kennedy doubles down on claims of Ukrainian interference

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) argued in a testy exchange on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he believes "both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election," claiming without evidence that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko "actively worked" for Hillary Clinton.

Go deeperArrowDec 1, 2019