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Senate Intel Committee probed Ukraine theory, found no evidence to support

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Republican lawmakers like Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., of late may have been pushing the narrative that Ukraine significantly interfered in the 2016 presidential election but a probe by the Senate Intelligence Committee found the widely debunked theory without merit.

At one point during its investigation into election meddling and any collusion by either campaign, the committee, led by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., turned its attention to statements made by Democratic consultant Alexandra Chalupa that Ukraine was eager to help her turn the spotlight on the activities of Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.

But Chalupa also emphasized the Ukrainian Embassy avoided getting politically involved in the issue. After interviewing Chalupa, who told lawmakers she hadn’t served as a go-between for the embassy and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Senate committee dropped that line of inquiry in the fall of 2017, Politico cited sources as saying.

Fiona Hill, the former senior White House adviser on Russia, asked lawmakers during an impeachment hearing two weeks ago to stop spreading “a fictional narrative” about Ukraine meddling in the election.
“The Russians have a particular vested interest in putting Ukraine, Ukrainian leaders in a very bad light,” Hill said. “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.”

Senators and their aides recently were told by U.S. intelligence officials that the tale was part of a multiyear Russian disinformation campaign. But that hasn’t stopped some GOP lawmakers from peddling the theory anyway with Kennedy, who had recently stepped back from earlier assertions about Ukraine, even claiming on NBC’s Meet the Press that former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko “actively worked for Secretary Clinton.”

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