Preays both Ukraine and Sen. Kennedy ss assessmentsident Hamid Karzai

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Preays both Ukraine and Sen. Kennedy ss assessmentsident Hamid Karzai

President Trump introduces Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) during a rally on Nov. 14, 2019, in Bossier City, La. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) said Sunday that both Russia and Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election, despite the intelligence community’s assessment that only Russia did so.

The comments mark Kennedy’s latest attempt to shift the focus away from the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia worked to help elect President Trump, following a Fox News Channel interview last week from which he later backtracked.

They also come as Democrats press forward with their impeachment inquiry into Trump, with the House Intelligence Committee expected to meet Tuesday to approve the release of a report on its findings on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

WATCH:  if he is "at all concerned that he has been duped" into believing that former Ukraine president worked for the Clinton campaign in 2016 "No, just read the articles.

— Meet the Press December 1, 2019

Asked about conservative columnist Michael Gerson’s criticism of his incorrect claim to Fox that Ukraine, not Russia, might have been behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails in 2016, Kennedy said he disagrees with the suggestion that he’s turning a blind eye to the truth.

Hill: Ukraine 2016 election interference is ‘false narrative’

Former White House Russia expert Fiona Hill testified on Nov. 21 that the idea of Ukrainian election interference was “propagated” by Russian security services. (The Washington Post)


“I think both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election,” Kennedy told host Chuck Todd on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Todd pressed Kennedy on whether he was concerned that he had been “duped” by Russian propaganda, noting reports that U.S. intelligence officials recently briefed senators that “this is a Russian intelligence propaganda campaign in order to get people like you to say these things about Ukraine.”

Kennedy responded that he had received no such warning.

Trump is the 'most valuable witness': Lawmakers point to president as new hearings loom

Lawmakers from both parties on Dec. 1 discussed where impeachment hearings against President Trump stood and what more there was to learn. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)


“I wasn’t briefed. Dr. Hill is entitled to her opinion,” Kennedy said, referring to former National Security Council Russia adviser Fiona Hill, who testified in the impeachment inquiry last month.

In her public testimony, Hill warned that several Trump allies had spread unfounded allegations that Ukraine, rather than Russia, had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services,” she said.

Kennedy argued Sunday that Ukraine’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 campaign have been “very well-documented,” citing reporting by the Economist, the Financial Times, the Washington Examiner and others.

“Does that mean that Ukrainian, the Ukrainian leaders were more aggressive than Russia? No. Russia was very aggressive and they’re much more sophisticated.