During Monday’s edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough addressed Sen. John Kennedy’s recent comments that both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 United States presidential election — a controversial theory that is being pushed by Donald Trump and his allies amid the impeachment probe into the president.
Scarborough accused Kennedy of “parroting Russian propaganda points” and said that by repeating such “discredited” points, GOP lawmakers are turning themselves into “Russian assets,” Breitbart reports.
“Republicans are coming back — they still have no defense, and they’re actually reduced now to doing nothing but repeating Russian propaganda points,” Scarborough said.
“As somebody said yesterday, if they do that, knowing the 17 intel agencies told them it was a lie and being warned in the United States Senate, then actually they’re not ignorant, that they’ve actually turned themselves into being Russian assets. That’s where we are as a nation as this week begins.”
Per CNN, Kennedy floated the theory when speaking to Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. According to Kennedy, Russia and Ukraine’s meddling in the 2016 election has been “well documented” by publications such as Politico, Financial Times, The Economist, The Washington Examiner, and on CBS.
Kennedy claims that Ukraine’s prime minister and interior minister, as well as the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States and the head of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption League, all meddled in the 2016 election via social media and other methods.
Todd later suggested that Kennedy’s claims were only parroted outside the United States by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“You have done exactly what the Russian operation is trying to get American politicians to do,” Todd said before asking Kennedy if he is worried that he’s being taken advantage of, to which Kennedy said he is not.
Woke Chuck Todd reemerges and tells Sen. John Kennedy that he is pushing Putin's Ukraine election meddling conspiracy theory. pic.twitter.com/2iBObOgkLA
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) December 1, 2019
CNN claims that what Kennedy is referring to is foreign officials making disparaging comments about a Trump presidency, which the publication suggests is not tantamount to election interference.
The theories being pushed by Trump’s camp via right-wing media have come under fire. As The Inquisitr reported, Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik believes that such outlets are pushing conspiracy theories in the name of defending Trump. Zurawik noted that the White House doesn’t seem to have settled on a solid impeachment defense and thus has taken to pushing said alleged conspiracy theories.
During her testimony to House investigators last month, Fiona Hill, the top official on Russian affairs at the National Security Council, suggested that Republicans pushing the controversial theory that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election are playing into the hands of Russia, who allegedly sows dissent in U.S. politics using such narratives.