Revealed: Top Trump Senate ally met with foreign official spreading false Ukrainian conspiracy theory

Revealed: Top Trump Senate ally met with foreign official spreading false Ukrainian conspiracy theory
Fox News Screengrab

A top ally to President Donald Trump, Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, met with a Ukrainian official who has been spreading the false conspiracy theory that the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign worked with Ukraine in an attempt to beat Donald Trump.


“I was in Washington, and Sen. Johnson found out I was in D.C., and staff called me and wanted to do a meeting with me. So I reached out back and said, ‘Sure, I’ll come down the Hill and talk to you,’ ” former Ukrainian diplomat Andrii Telizhenko told The Washington Post.

A top ally to President Donald Trump, Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, met with a Ukrainian official who has been spreading the false conspiracy theory that the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign worked with Ukraine in an attempt to beat Donald Trump.

“I was in Washington, and Sen. Johnson found out I was in D.C., and staff called me and wanted to do a meeting with me. So I reached out back and said, ‘Sure, I’ll come down the Hill and talk to you,’ ” former Ukrainian diplomat Andrii Telizhenko told The Washington Post.

Telizhenko, who has spent hours working with Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, spent 30 minutes or more with Senator Johnson, and an additional five hours with Johnson’s Senate staff. Presumably taxpayers paid staffers’ salaries during those meetings.

Johnson is a powerful Senate Republican. He is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and sits on other committees that have control over U.S. policy on Ukraine.

Telizhenko said he spoke with Sen. Johnson about “the DNC issue,” which the Post describes as “his unsubstantiated claim that the Democratic National Committee worked with the Ukrainian government in 2016 to gather incriminating information about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”

Senator Johnson, who has been unwavering in his support for President Trump, now faces an ethical conflict of interest should the House vote to impeach the president. Johnson is in the middle of the Ukrainian conspiracy, and some are asking if he should recuse from the impeachment trial. A spokesperson refused to say if he would.

Senator Johnson earlier this month spoke to far right wing pundit Mark Levin on Fox News to spread his Ukrainian conspiracy theories.

Photo of Telizhenko and Johnson taken at the hart Senate Office Building, posted to Facebook July 11.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.