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Trump's most dangerous behavior on Ukraine

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By Trudy Rubin

When the House of Representatives draws up articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the list might not include one of his most dangerous abuses of power: the president's promotion of fraudulent conspiracy theories giving White House credence to crackpot claims once confined to fringe websites.

In the impeachment case, the spotlight has focused on Trump's arm-twisting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden before receiving desperately needed U.S. military aid. But less attention has been paid to Trump's other demand: that Zelenskiy pursue the fake claim that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the 2016 election.

That conspiracy theory has been debunked, repeatedly, including by all U.S. intelligence agencies. "This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves," said former top national security official Fiona Hill, at impeachment hearings.

But Trump won't let it go. His frequent embrace of convoluted conspiracy theories means White House policy can be based on bizarre fairy tales ― and be wide open to penetration by Russian and other intelligence agencies.

It doesn't get much more dangerous than that.

I have reported for decades from troubled countries such as Pakistan and Egypt, where publics rely on conspiracy theories to make sense of the world because they........

© The Korea Times