Thanks, Devin. Thanks Jim. It's all going according to plan. Love, Vlad.

Thanks, Devin. Thanks Jim. It's all going according to plan. Love, Vlad.

by digby

He's quite the troll isn't he?

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he’s pleased that the “political battles” in Washington have put on the back-burner accusations that Russia interfered in U.S. elections.

"Thank God,” he told an economic forum in the Russian capital on Wednesday, “no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore; now they’re accusing Ukraine."

Some Republicans have used the public hearings to tout a discredited conspiracy theory that blames Ukraine, not Russia, for interfering in the U.S.’s 2016 presidential election.

Once again, everything Trump does inexplicably accrues to the benefit of Vladimir Putin. This one's a doozy. The conspiracy theory being pursued by the Republicans originated with Russin operative Konstatin Kilimnik:

In a 2018 interview with Rick Gates, the aide of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Gates told investigators that Manafort speculated the Ukrainians were behind the 2016 hacks of Democrats’ emails.

“Gates recalled Manafort saying the hack was likely carried out by the Ukrainians, not the Russians, which parroted a narrative Kilimnik often supported,” the 302 reads.

A related conspiracy theory is now the subject of the House’s impeachment inquiry. In his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump pressed Zelensky on a conspiracy that the hacked DNC “server” — though in reality there’s more than one — was actually in Ukraine. Such theories assert that evidence collected from the Democratic servers pinning the hacks on Russia was actually manufactured.

Kilimnik is under indictment in the US for crimes related to his relationship with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He fled to Russia, where he remains today.

The Republicans spewing this conspiracy theory, particularly Devin Nunes who blathers about it endlessly in an attempt to curry favor with Trump and Hannity, are basically giving the green light to Russia to do it all over again.