Chuck Todd Clashes With GOP Sen. Kennedy on Ukraine: ‘The Only Other Person Selling This Argument’ Outside the US Is Putin!


Chuck Todd clashed on Meet the Press this morning with Senator John Kennedy (R- LA) about his comments on Ukraine and election interference.

Todd started out by asking Kennedy about comments he made on another Sunday show last week about Ukraine that he subsequently walked back. Todd read from a recent Washington Post column where Michael Gerson wrote, “Determining the motivation of Trump’s followers is easier, by far. Politicians such as Kennedy must know the truth about Russian aggression. But still they choose to suck up to the president by reflecting his mania and sharing his blind spots. Loyalty to Trump among Republicans is proved by the loosening of all other loyalties — to truth, to honesty and to the national good. By this measure, Kennedy is profoundly loyal to the president.”

Kennedy said in response, “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 shot back asking if he was briefed “after Fiona Hill’s testimony that actually 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.”

Todd asked Kennedy, “Are you at all concerned you are doing Russian intelligence work here?”

Kennedy said he wasn’t briefed and that Hill “is entitled to her opinion.”

“When does opinion become fact?” Todd asked. “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 said. “And I believe that a Ukrainian district court in December of 2018 slacked down several Ukrainian officials for meddling in our elections, a violation of Ukrainian law.”

At one point he said “President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton” and Todd responded, “My goodness, wait a minute, Senator Kennedy, you now have the president of Ukraine saying he worked for the Democratic nominee for president. Come on! You realize, the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is this man, Vladimir Putin.”

“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?” Todd asked.

Kennedy again pointed to the reporting on Ukraine and asked “what harm would it do” to allow President Trump to introduce evidence.

“He has been provided every opportunity to provide exculpatory evidence on any of this and they has chosen not to,” Todd said.

“No, he hasn’t!” Kennedy responded. “Rounds one and two by speaker Pelosi and chairman Schiff are as rigged as a carnival ring toss and we both know that.”

You can watch the full exchange above, via NBC.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac