Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said on Sunday that he’s not concerned about pushing Vladimir Putin’s talking points in order to help President Donald Trump. Kennedy’s stunning admission came after being accused by NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd of being “duped” by the Russians and spreading their propaganda about Ukraine.
Kennedy, who is facing widespread backlash for pushing the Ukraine 2016 election conspiracy theory, was undeterred by Todd’s accusation and proceeded to double down on his claims.
“I think both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. I think it’s been well documented in the Financial Times and Politico and The Economist and the Washington Examiner, even on CBS that the prime minister of Ukraine, the interior minister, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, the head of the Ukrainian anti-corruption league all meddled in the election on social media and otherwise. They worked with the DNC operative against the president.”
Todd pushed back by citing testimony from diplomat Fiona Hill.
“This entire effort to frame Ukraine for the Russian meddling of 2016, of which you just made this case that they’ve done it, that actually this is an effort of Russia propaganda, that this is a Russian intelligence propaganda campaign in order to get people like you to say these things about Ukraine. Are you at all concerned you are doing Russian intelligence work here?”
“I’m not,” Kenney responded before saying that Hill “is entitled to her opinion.”
Todd shot back: “When does opinion become fact? Does 17 intelligence services saying it, does every western intelligence ally saying Russia did this? I’m just sort of confused. At what point is it no longer an opinion for you?”
“You should read the articles, Chuck. They’re very well documented,” Kennedy replied, leading the NBC host to fire back, “You’ve done exactly what the Russian operation is trying to get American politicians to do. Are you at all concerned that you have been duped?”
“no, just read the articles,” Kennedy said.
Watch the interview below, via NBC:
WATCH: @ChuckTodd asks @SenJohnKennedy if he is "at all concerned that he has been duped" into believing that former Ukraine president worked for the Clinton campaign in 2016 #MTP #IfItsSunday@SenJohnKennedy: "No, just read the articles." pic.twitter.com/A0rLu03F8j
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 1, 2019