Bill Taylor dismisses Ukraine conspiracy theories: 'No one took it seriously'

Bill Taylor dismisses Ukraine conspiracy theories: 'No one took it seriously'
© Greg Nash

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 TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSunday shows preview: With coronavirus cases surging, lawmakers and health officials weigh in Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down GOP lawmakers join social media app billed as alternative to Big Tech MORE 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 Russia that pushed the theories about the DNC’s computer server being physically in Ukraine.

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"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 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 front line," 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 in the election 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 BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign raised M more than Trump in the month of June RNC, Trump campaign raised 1M in June Michigan shuts down most indoor bar service in bid to prevent virus resurgence MORE, sparked his eventual impeachment in the House.