It Turns Out Team Trump Has Spent Years Falsely Claiming Ukraine—Not Russia—Was Behind DNC Hack

Michael Brochstein//ZUMA Wire

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On the famous July phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump pressed the Ukrainian president to look into the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee. The belief that Ukraine, not Russia, was actually behind the hack is a pretty confusing but persistent conspiracy theory on the right, despite being thoroughly debunked. And now new documents reveal just how deep the theory runs in Trump world: Former campaign chair Paul Manafort was suggesting Ukraine was involved in the stealing of Democratic emails as far back as 2016.

On Saturday, BuzzFeed released reams of previously secret memos from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. BuzzFeed reports that the documents show that Rick Gates, Manafort’s number 2, told investigators in April 2018 that “after the campaign learned in June 2016 that WikiLeaks had the hacked DNC emails, Manafort had said that the hack was ‘likely carried by the Ukrainians, not the Russians,’ according to FBI notes.” 

Gates also reportedly revealed that the theory was shared by one of Manafort’s associates with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik—another key player in the Russia-election saga, who we’ve written about frequently in the past—as well as former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. 

Hoo boy.

Read more about the memos at BuzzFeed.

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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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