NBC host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddRepublican Senator says he's 'very comfortable' with Trump making call on Navy SEAL review Sanders campaign says it reached 4 million individual donations Johnson: I'm writing a letter to 'lay out what I know' about Ukraine aid MORE on Sunday confronted Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) over the unfounded theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, saying that Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDemocrats: The 'Do Quite a Lot' Party Rudy Giuliani's reputation will never recover from the impeachment hearings The Hill's Morning Report Dems and Trump score separate court wins MORE is the only other person outside the U.S. promulgating this argument.
Todd made the remarks on "Meet The Press" while pushing back against Kennedy's assertion that both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the latest U.S. presidential election.
Todd strongly disputed the accusations, noting that the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to boost President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Intelligence Committee to review impeachment investigation report Monday Comedian Rosanne Barr to speak at Trumpettes' Gala at Mar-A-Lago Israeli, Palestinian business leaders seek Trump boost for investment project MORE and harm Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonStill upset by Trump's historic win? Beat him if you can in 2020 Michael Bloomberg's billions can't save an unserious campaign Fears mount about Biden's South Carolina firewall MORE. There is no evidence to suggest Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.
Kennedy claimed that reporting in outlets such as Politico and The Economist indicated that the former Ukrainian presidentfavored Clinton over Trump.
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
"You should read the articles, Chuck. Theyre very well documented," Kennedy said, apparently referencing reports about former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's administration.
"The fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton," he later added, prompting Todd to quickly express dismay over the remark. It is unclear which report he was referencing when making the claim.
"My goodness. Wait a minute,Sen. Kennedy. You now have the president of Ukraine saying he actively worked for the Democratic nominee for president. I mean, now come on," Todd said. "You realize the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is is this man, Vladimir Putin."
Todd went on to accuse Kennedy of doing "exactly what the Russian operation is trying to get American politicians to do."
"Are you at all concerned that youve been duped?" he asked.
"No, just read the articles," Kennedy said.
Speaking at an economic forum in Russia last month, Putin said that he was thankful "internal political battles" were putting an end to accusations of Russian interference in the U.S.
"We see what is going on there in the U.S. now," Putin said. "Thank God nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in the U.S. elections. Now theyre accusing Ukraine."
The conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election has gained increased attention as the House probes Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
During a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked the new leader to look into matters related to CrowdStrike, an internet security company that initiallyexaminedthe breach of the DNCservers in 2016. The request was an apparent reference to a conspiracy that casts doubt on the assessment that Russia was to blame for the hack of the DNC servers.
Multiple former administration officials have denounced the theories that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and interfered in the 2016 election.Tom Bossert,a former homeland security adviser in the Trump administration, said in late September that the allegation was a "completely debunked" conspiracy theory.
Fiona Hill, a former top Russia analyst for the White House, testified last month thatthe claim was a "fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."
Kennedy last week suggested that there was still a possibility that Ukraine was responsible for the DNC hack. He walked back those comments days later but has continued to insist Ukraine interfered in other ways.
Trump, meanwhile, has continued to push the unsubstantiated allegations. In an appearance on "Fox & Friends" following Hill's deposition, the presidentclaimed thatofficials gave a DNC server to "CrowdStrike, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian." CrowdStrike is a U.S.-based company.
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