Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) has gone back to touting President Trump’s DNC-Ukraine conspiracy theory after retracting his claim last week.
Last week, Kennedy described the conspiracy theory during an interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace, only to walk it back a day later while being interviewed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo. Kennedy admitted to Cuomo that he was “wrong” and that “it was Russia who tried to hack the [Democratic National Committee’s] computer.” Kennedy also told Cuomo that he misheard Wallace when asked whether it was Russia or Ukraine who was responsible for hacking the DNC and the Clinton email computers.
But according to a CNN report Tuesday, Kennedy appears to have retracted his retraction by saying that there’s “no question” in his mind that Ukraine attempted to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election.
“There’s no question in my mind Ukraine did try to influence the the election,” Kennedy said, according to CNN. “I know that I’ve read that the Intelligence Committee made some kind of finding, I don’t know what it was.”
Kennedy then dismissed the public testimony of former NSC senior director Fiona Hill, who told the House Intelligence Committee last month that conspiracy theories about Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election formed a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
“I’m aware of Dr. Hill’s testimony and she’s entitled to her opinion,” Kennedy said, according to CNN.
When CNN reporter Suzanne Malvaeux pushed back on Kennedy’s remarks by pointing out that Hill’s debunking is not an opinion, given her Russia expertise and former government position, Kennedy reportedly dodged and pointed out articles that he believes support the DNC-Ukraine conspiracy theory.
“I do believe that Ukraine tried to influence our election in 2016 and I think our media has documented it well,” Kennedy told CNN.
After Malveux told Kennedy that “these are old articles we’re talking about 2019” and that “all the intelligence agencies have debunked what you are peddling,” Kennedy responded by arguing that he has “no way of knowing what Vladimir Putin says or thinks.”
“I think he’s a thug or a monster, but I don’t think any of these periodicals have withdrawn the articles,” Kennedy said, according to CNN.
Read CNN’s report here.