Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday knocked recent claims by some Republicans that Ukraine may have interfered in the 2016 election, calling it a “lie” backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Certain Senate Republicans have made increasingly outlandish claims, including the assertion that Ukraine might have been involved in interfering in the 2016 election. Let me be clear, the charge that Ukraine had something to do with election meddling … is a lie spread by Vladimir Putin,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.
Schumer added that Putin “invented that lie to muddy the waters” and distract from Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
Schumer appeared to be referring to Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the election.
“Russia was very aggressive, and they’re much more sophisticated, but the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy’s comments have earned him praise from President Trump but widespread criticism from Democrats.
Schumer added on Monday that some senators were “disgracefully” helping spread “Russian propaganda” and “doing Putin’s job for him.”
“I urge my Republican colleagues — they know who they are — to stop spreading these lies,” Schumer added.
The intelligence community previously released a report detailing Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. There is no evidence to suggest that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.
Fiona Hill, a former top Russia analyst for the White House, also testified last month that the claim was a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”