Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) joined Cuomo Prime Time on Monday and walked back statements he had made to Fox News on Sunday in support of President Trump’s claim that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that hacked the DNC server in 2016. Appearing on Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace, Kennedy was confronted with the fact that the entire American intelligence community agrees it was Russia who hacked the server, to which he replied, “Right, but it could also be Ukraine.”
On Monday, Kennedy explained that he’d misheard Wallace. He thought Wallace had said that only Russia had tried to interfere in the election when what Wallace had actually said, is that the entire intelligence community agrees that it was Russia who hacked the DNC server. So Kennedy wanted to clear things up.
“I went back and looked at the transcript,” Kennedy said. “He said, ‘Only Russia tried to hack the DNC computer.’ Now, Chris is right. I was wrong.”
Then Kennedy split with the president.
“The only evidence I have, and I think it’s overwhelming, is that it was Russia who tried to hack the DNC computer,” Kennedy said, adding, “I’ve seen no indication that Ukraine tried to do it.”
Despite admitting that it was in fact Russia, not Ukraine, that hacked the DNC server in 2016, Kennedy continued to push that Ukraine at least tried to meddle in the election, repeatedly pointing to a 2017 Politico article to make his case, but Cuomo wasn’t buying it.
“But why did (Robert) Mueller say otherwise in his testimony?” Cuomo asked. “Why does the intelligence community say otherwise? Why does (former top Russia aide) Fiona Hill and all the experts say it?” “I don’t know,” replied Kennedy, to which Cuomo responded, “You do know, Senator. I don’t know why you have to go this way to defend this president.”
But despite their differences on certain aspects of the Ukraine story, Cuomo gave credit where credit is due.
“You just did something we’ve never heard this president do,” Cuomo said. “this was say, ‘Hey, I know I said that, I was wrong.’ So good, let’s check a big honkin’ box.”
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