Senators briefed that CrowdStrike theory is Russian-backed disinformation campaign
Why it matters: As part of their defense of President Trump amid the impeachment inquiry, Republicans have tried to advance the now-debunked conspiracy theory that the government in Kiev was responsible for hacking the 2016 election.
But the intelligence briefing is consistent with Fiona Hill’s impeachment testimony this week. On Thursday, Trump‘s former top Russia adviser said the notion that Ukraine, rather than Russia, meddled in the 2016 election is “a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
- Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman called the same, so-called CrowdStrike server conspiracy theory “a Russian narrative that President [Vladimir] Putin has promoted.”
Reality check, via Axios’ Joe Uchill: CrowdStrike is not and has never been owned by a Ukrainian, as Trump and GOP lawmakers have suggested. It was founded in America by a Russian-born American, and funded by U.S. venture capital.
- CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is an Russian-born American, not a Ukrainian.
- The firm was not funded by Ukrainian oligarchs.
- CrowdStrike was hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate and expunge the hackers responsible for the 2016 breach.
- Since the 2016 election, the firm has become publicly traded.
- The firm has been at the center of a number of right-wing conspiracy theories because it was the first to publicly release evidence that Russia perpetrated the digital trespass.
- Trump has previously cited CrowdStrike as an explanation for why he wants Ukraine to investigate meddling in the 2016 election, and he mentioned it in the July 25 phone call in which he appeared to press the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
- The highlights from all of the public impeachment hearings
- The impeachment inquiry’s closing arguments
- Impeachment testimony highlights witnesses’ immigrant pasts
- Breaking down the Trump-Ukraine memo’s CrowdStrike conspiracy