Sen. Kennedy takes back Sunday comments on alleged Ukrainian intervention in 2016
But speaking with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday, Kennedy said he misheard Wallace’s question. The ardent Trump ally said he’d thought Wallace had said only Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and Kennedy was skeptical of ruling out Ukrainian involvement as well.
“I don’t know nor do you, nor do any of us,” Kennedy told Wallace at the time
The remark reflected a conspiracy theory frequently repeated by President Donald Trump and that he had asked Ukraine to investigate — a major point in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Fiona Hill, a former top White House adviser on Russia, told House investigators Thursday that the idea Ukraine led a campaign to tamper with the 2016 election was “a fictional narrative being propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
While speaking with Cuomo, Kennedy cited a POLITICO article from 2017 that revealed Ukrainian efforts to expose ties between Russia and Trump’s team. Several Republicans have been attempting to equate those efforts with the systematic, top-down intervention by Russia in 2016 — a campaign longtime observers determined Ukraine would be incapable of carrying out.
Former special counsel Robert Mueller determined in his report on the 2016 election that Ukraine did not lead a major effort to undermine the U.S. election by violating campaign infrastructure in the manner Russia did.