Former top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor said in an interview Sunday that no one at the American Embassy in Kyiv gave any credence to conspiracy theories that Ukraine, and not Russia, actually interfered in the 2016 election.
Taylor told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the State Department had not directed him to investigate the rumors that Ukraine intervened because “No one took it seriously.” He added that he was frustrated that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was pushing for investigations that were not official U.S. policy.
The former diplomat also told CBS News that there are no links between CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity company hired by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Ukraine. Taylor, who officially left the embassy in Kyiv last month after testifying in Trump’s impeachment trial, indicated it was Russian that pushed the theories about the DNC’s computer server being physically in Ukraine.
“The Russians are very good at that,” he said. “It’s these fake stories that they have propagated. And that’s what they do. They do it pretty well. We have to be on guard against that.”
Taylor said the U.S. has a stake in the Ukraine’s war with Russia because the war involves cyber, economic and election attacks as well as on-the-ground warfare.
“Ukraine’s security is important to our security and the reason I believe that is that Ukraine is on the frontline,” he said. “The Russians are fighting a hybrid war against Ukraine, but it’s not just about Ukraine, they are fighting a hybrid war against Europe and against the United States.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House and the State Department for comment.
Trump and Giuliani have both asked Ukrainian officials to investigate theories about Ukrainian interference and the alleged DNC server, including during the president’s now-infamous phone call with the leader of Ukraine last summer.
The revelations of Trump’s requests during that call, which also including pressing the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, sparked his eventual impeachment in the House.