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Schumer: Claim that Ukraine meddled in 2016 election 'is a lie'

Schumer: Claim that Ukraine meddled in 2016 election 'is a lie'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (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 PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWest's 'wokeness' helped Russia to redefine a 'prisoner of conscience' For better or worse: Which way will US-Saudi relations go under Biden? How to rethink Russia sanctions MORE.

“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. 

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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 KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (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 TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE 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."