Trump's own officials label his Ukraine theory as Russian election interference

“Andrii Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday in a statement announcing sanctions against the pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker and three Russian employees of a “troll farm” that generates divisive social media content for U.S. consumption.

Derkach had been working with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and One America News network, which Trump has come to favor in the past year, to push the falsehood that the Democratic presidential nominee acted improperly when, as vice president, he worked to remove a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor, supposedly to protect a company his son, Hunter, had been working for. In fact, Joe Biden was advancing the consensus goal of the United States, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and others to rid Ukraine of corruption.

Trump, who was impeached last year for his efforts to extort Ukraine’s new president into opening an investigation into Biden, has nevertheless continued to push that conspiracy theory.