US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made an astonishing statement in an interview with MSNBC, claiming that the ongoing scandal about US President Donald Trump allegedly "pressuring" his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky into launching a probe against Democrat Joe Biden is actually a result of Russia's actions. The claim came as total surprise, as Moscow had not been referred to at all during the entire ordeal that was described in an anonymous whistleblower complaint.
"Here you have the president of the US asking for [another country to interfere in the American elections]. And the president is going to have to answer that and they know how wrong it is. So it's wrong for a country… as we saw with Russian interference… and by the way I think Russia has a hand in this", Pelosi said.
The speaker didn't elaborate on her claim, and didn't provide any proof to substantiate it.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quick to react to the statement, apparently trolling the new case in the "Russia did it" trend, which has been pervasive in the speeches of American officials and media articles since 2016.
"Considering the fact that Nancy Pelosi was the one to blow the scandal around the telephone conversation between the US and Ukrainian presidents, the house speaker's logic suggests that Russia rather 'has a hand in Pelosi' herself", the spokeswoman wrote in a Facebook post.
The scandal surrounding the 25 July conversation between Trump and Zelensky erupted after an anonymous whistleblower, allegedly a CIA officer, filed a complaint claiming that POTUS could have abused his power to "solicit interference from a foreign country" in the US election. Citing the accounts of other US officials, rather than their own observation, the complainant stated that Trump had "pressured" Zelensky into initiating an investigation into Joe Biden, one of POTUS' key potential rivals in the 2020 election.
However, the released full transcript of the conversation showed that Biden was mentioned only once, with Trump asking his Ukrainian counterpart to look into allegations against the former vice president. The latter is suspected of pressuring the previous Ukrainian president into sacking a prosecutor probing his son Hunter Biden in a criminal case.
Democrats, led by Pelosi, have initiated impeachment proceedings against POTUS in light of the whistleblower's complaint, despite Trump dismissing the accusations and calling the conversation with Zelensky "pitch perfect". The impeachment process hasn't stopped with the release of both the complaint and the transcript.