Republicans break with Robert Hyde, latest player in Ukraine drama

Source: Politico | January 15, 2020 | Melanie Zanona

House leaders say they don’t support the Connecticut candidate, who’s wrapped up with an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani.

Congressional Republicans are distancing themselves from Robert Hyde, a controversial House candidate and GOP donor who has become the latest figure to get wrapped up in the Ukraine saga that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

The top three Republican leaders in the House — Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming — all said they don’t know Hyde and don’t support him, according to their offices.

“She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off,” Hyde wrote in one message to Parnas. He followed up with other messages informing Parnas that “She’s next to the embassy” and “Not in the embassy.”

Hyde has dismissed the conversations as nothing more than idle talk with a “buddy” and maintains that he has never even been to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Hyde tweeted that he would have more “extensive comments” on the matter at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Hyde’s social media is littered with videos and photos of him posing with Trump and scores of other top Republicans, including McCarthy — something Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quick to point out during a speech on the House floor on Wednesday.

McCarthy’s office, however, said the minority leader is “frequently stopped to take pictures with folks” and has “taken thousands” of photos. In one of the videos Hyde posted to social media — which he says was taken at the World Series — McCarthy doesn’t appear to know the candidate’s name.

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