Amid reports that Ukraine had been cleared by Senate investigators of 2016 election interference, the Texas lawmaker and the “Cuomo Prime Time” host clashed as Weber continued pushing a debunked conspiracy theory that CrowdStrike ― a California-based cybersecurity firm hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate what turned out to be a Russian hack ― was owned by a Ukrainian.
“You don’t believe that there’s a question as to whether or not Russia or Ukraine interfered in our election, right?” Cuomo asked.
“Russia interfered in the election, they tried to,” Weber replied. “Secretary Jeh Johnson said there was no votes changed.”
Cuomo provided a rundown of the situation for his guest.
“They hacked the DNC server. Nobody has ever suggested as a matter of fact that Ukraine had anything to do with that,” Cuomo said. “The only person who has suggested it, in the ugliest of ironies, is Vladimir Putin. He made up a story about Ukraine wanting to go after Trump, and now members of your own party are parroting it.”
“Was CrowdStrike involved in the DCCC hacking?” Weber asked.
“Yes,” Cuomo replied.
“Is CrowdStrike in part owned by Ukraine?” Weber asked.
“No,” Cuomo replied.
“Really?” Weber asked.
“Yes,” Cuomo said, to which Weber responded: “That’s not the information we have.”
“You have bad information,” Cuomo fired back.
“The man is American, born of Russian descent. He’s not Ukrainian,” Cuomo added. “Even if he were, that’s what you’re going to hang it on? Tom Bossert said that was a joke. You heard testimony from experts saying it was a joke. Mueller said it’s not true. Burr said it’s not true.”
Politico reported Monday, citing multiple sources with direct knowledge of the inquiry, that despite a thorough investigation, the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee came up short when looking for evidence of interference by Ukraine.
Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told CNN that although some officials in Ukraine actively supported then-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, “I don’t think anybody interfered in the same way Russia did.”
The conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the U.S. election was peddled by the Russian president in 2017 and has since made the rounds with Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump, who recently touted it again during a call to “Fox & Friends,” claiming that CrowdStrike was owned by a “very wealthy Ukrainian.”
The company is publicly traded on the Nasdaq and its largest shareholder is Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm with ties to the president himself. One of CrowdStrike’s American founders, Dmitri Alperovitch, is Russian-born.