Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Tuesday that he has seen no evidence that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election, contradicting some of his GOP colleagues.
“I saw no evidence from our intelligence community nor from the representatives today from the Department of State that there is any evidence of any kind that suggests Ukraine interfered in our elections,” Romney told reporters after a hearing with State Department officials.
Romney’s comments come after Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) sparked backlash for saying on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Ukraine meddled in 2016. Kennedy, questioned by reporters in the Capitol, pointed to multiple articles on the subject.
“I based my comments to Chuck [Todd] on the reporting in the Politico magazine, on reporting in the Financial Times, The Economist, the Washington Examiner,” Kennedy told reporters on Monday. “You can get copies if you’d like from the office.”
Romney, asked about the claims from some of his colleagues, declined to rebut individual senators. But he appeared to break with Kennedy indirectly, noting that some lawmakers are basing their ideas on the press.
“I do think that we have to adhere to the facts presented to us by our intelligence community,” Romney said.
He added that “some people will look at newspaper accounts and say, ‘Gee, this is what I read in the newspaper,’ but not every article is accurate.”
The intelligence community previously released a report detailing Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. There is no evidence to suggest that Ukraine interfered as well.
Fiona Hill, a former top Russia analyst for the White House, testified last month in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry that the claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election was a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”