- The Washington Times - Friday, November 22, 2019

President Trump was called into question Friday morning by Fox News personality Steve Doocy when he apparently held forth a bogus claim about U.S. cybersecurity company CrowdStrike and Ukraine.

Mr. Trump was speaking live on “Fox & Friends” when Mr. Doocy, one of the show’s co-hosts, interjected to cast doubt on a debunked conspiracy theory being spread by the president.

“They have the server from the DNC, Democratic National Committee,” Mr. Trump said about CrowdStrike near the start of a live telephone interview that lasted nearly an hour.

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“They gave the server to CrowdStrike or whatever it is called, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still want to see that server. You know, the FBI has never gotten that server. That’s a big part of this whole thing.” Mr. Trump insisted. “Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?”

CrowdStrike was contracted by the DNC after the latter’s computers were compromised leading up the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The company is not Ukrainian, however; it is actually headquartered in California and publicly traded on Nasdaq.

Mr. Doocy subsequently scrambled to make room for the president to walk back the remarks, asking: “Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?”

“Well, that’s what the word is,” Mr. Trump replied.

The U.S intelligence community has assessed that Russian government hackers compromised the DNC and other victims during the course of a sprawling effort to interfere in the 2016 election to the Democratic Party’s disadvantage, and the Department of Justice has filed related criminal charges against several Russian intelligence officers accused of involvement. That assessment was announced after the government considered evidence including digital copies of computers that CrowdStrike had analyzed as part of the company’s own investigation into the DNC breach.

“We’ve provided all forensic evidence and analysis to the FBI related to the DNC investigation as requested,” CrowdStrike said in a statement previously.

Mr. Trump has expressed doubts about Moscow’s involvement in his election, and he is among Republicans who have recently begun questioning whether Russia’s neighboring adversary Ukraine interfered in the race — a baseless theory panned by a former member of the president’s National Security Council hours earlier.

“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,” Fiona Hill, a former NSC expert on European and Russian affairs for the Trump administration, testified during an open impeachment hearing held Thursday in the House of Representatives.

Democrats controlling the House initiated the impeachment inquiry after a member of the intelligence community raised concerns regarding a July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr. Trump mentioned CrowdStrike and its purported Ukrainian connection in that conversation moments before asking Mr. Zelensky to investigate Joseph R. Biden, a front-runner seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the White House in 2020, while the U.S. withheld military assistance needed for Ukraine to combat Russian aggression.

Intelligence officials recently briefed Senators about a yearslong Russian effort to falsely blame Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 race, The New York Times reported Friday.

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