WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Sen. John Kennedy on Monday for "parroting Russian propaganda" after the Louisiana Republican said he believed "both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election."
"Sen. Kennedy, why are you parroting Russian propaganda that U.S. intelligence officials tell us are designed to divide our country?" Clinton asked in a tweet. "Did you miss the briefing that day?"
The briefing Clinton asked about was apparently a reference to a New York Times report, based on unnamed sources, which said U.S. intelligence officials had briefed senators that Russia had engaged in a "yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election."
The claims that Ukraine also intervened in 2016 is largely based on statements from Ukrainian officials who criticized Trump in the 2016 campaign for his apparently positive opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a comment that he might recognize Russian's annexation of Crimea.
They also point to a Ukrainian court's ruling that anti-corruption prosecutors acted illegally when they supplied evidence that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had not disclosed large payments he had received from a Ukrainian political party. And they said a DNC operative, Alexandra Chalupa, had reached out to Ukrainian officials about incriminating information on Manafort.
The court ruled that the release of the Manafort information "resulted in meddling in the electoral process of the United States in 2016 and damaged the national interests of Ukraine," according to The New York Times.
But despite his supporters' claims, when Trump has directly addressed his concerns about 2016, he has referred to a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, hacked the DNC.