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 SchumerPelosi, Schumer slam Trump executive orders, call for GOP to come back to negotiating table Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief Postal Service says it lost .2 billion over three-month period 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 PutinBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Not a pretty picture: Money laundering and America's art market Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' 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 John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally 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."