House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Wednesday what Russian President Vladimir Putin might “have on President [Donald] Trump” for Trump to once side with Putin over the U.S. intelligence community.
Pelosi raised the conspiracy theory when responding to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s reference to the release of a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report. The document says the intelligence community was correct in its assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 United States federal election to support Trump, a contention that Trump disputed.
“Well, I’m not surprised. As a member of the [intelligence group] Gang of Eight, I watched this whole investigation proceed and the rest,” Pelosi told Scarborough on “Morning Joe.”
“It leads you to the question: what does Vladimir Putin have on President Trump personally, politically, financially, in any way, that he would choose Putin’s words, what Putin said over the intelligence community?”
Scarborough did not challenge Pelosi’s suggestion.
Pelosi also suggested that any assertions that Ukraine participated in election interference was an attempt to “divert any culpability away from the Russians. Something is very wrong there,” she said. (RELATED: Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Accuses Trump Of Treason Following Putin Summit)
“This is shameful and it really gives lie to what the president has said. We must start … to insist on the truth with the president.”
At their July 2018 Helsinki summit, both Trump and Putin fielded questions from reporters. Trump was asked about allegations that Russia had interfered in the previous presidential election on his behalf and suggested they had not.
Democratic California Rep. Pelosi suggested that “the facts” will always vindicate the intelligence community: “it cannot be denied no matter what the president says.” (RELATED: Trump Smiles, Warns Putin Of Interfering In Upcoming Election)
But Pelosi insisted Russian interference was not just a thing of the past. “It us to the next step. [The intelligence community has] told us 24/7 the Russians are still at work trying to undermine our election.”
The Speaker suggested that the next coronavirus stimulus bill contain “an important chunk of money … that will enable us to protect the integrity of our elections as well as to enable the American people to vote by mail especially at this time of a health danger in going to the polls.”
The notion that Putin controls Trump is a common theme from his opponents. MSNBC analyst Claire McCaskill said in January that Putin “owns Donald Trump.” California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters has repeatedly said that the American president is indebted to Russia for his election victory and is therefore “Putin’s puppet,” even though she has no proof of the Russia collusion hoax.