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Sunday, December 01, 2019

Senator Kennedy is the Matt Gaetz of the Senate

by digby

The man is supposedly some kind of academic superstar, having been educated at Oxford and all. Apparently what he learned is to be a stone cold liar. On Meet the Press today, Chuck Todd brought up the fact that Kennedy had spewed conspiracy theories about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election. Kennedy said he had misunderstood the question and corrected it but Todd pressed further, explaining that people are actually criticizing Kennedy for conflating Ukraine and Russia and doing Trump's "dirty work" for him.

The Daily Beast takes it from there:
Kennedy, meanwhile, insisted that there was sufficient evidence that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election on behalf of Clinton, citing a handful of articles to claim that a number of Ukrainian officials “meddled in the election on social media and otherwise.”

“In fact, in December of 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that Ukrainian officials had violated Ukrainian law by meddling in our election and that was reported in The New York Times,” Kennedy added, referencing a court ruling that the leaking of the so-called “black ledger” on ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was against the law. (The court has since canceled that ruling.)

Todd would eventually confront Kennedy on the U.S. intelligence community recently briefing lawmakers that attempts to frame Ukraine for Russian election meddling was actually “a Russian intelligence propaganda campaign in order to get people like you to say these things about Ukraine," a briefing Kennedy claimed he didn't attend.

“When does opinion become fact?” Todd wondered aloud. “Does 17 intelligence services saying it, does every western intelligence ally saying Russia did this—I get sort of confused at what point is it no longer an opinion for you?”

After once again noting that a Ukrainian court “smacked down several Ukrainian officials for meddling in our elections,” Kennedy then made a claim that gobsmacked the Meet the Press host.

“Russia was very aggressive and they’re much more sophisticated,” the conservative senator declared. “But the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton.”

“Actively worked for Secretary Clinton?! My goodness, wait a minute, Senator Kennedy,” Todd shot back. “You now have the president of Ukraine saying he worked for the Democratic nominee for president. C’mon. You realize the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is this man, Vladimir Putin!”

The NBC host then highlighted the Russian president recently boasting that “nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in U.S. election” but instead blaming Ukraine.

Todd further pushed back on Kennedy’s assertion, asking him if he believed that Ukrainian officials criticizing Trump during the election over his endorsement of Russia’s annexation of Crimea was equivalent to Russia’s hacking.

Kennedy, for his part, said that there would be no harm allowing President Trump to “introduce evidence” that could support these assertions since Trump “has a demonstrated record fighting foreign corruption.”
Right. There's no harm in allowing Trump and his henchmen to baselessly smear Hillary Clinton all over again.  Don't be surprised to see them start yelling "Lock her up! Lock her Up!" in the middle of the fucking impeachment trial. I can't wait to see Lindsey Graham screaming and spitting like a rabid hyena.  Should be fun.

This is the stuff that terrifies me. Kennedy isn't this stupid. He's just doing it to maintain power by any means necessary. If he can lie like this with a straight face in order to defend this monster in the White House, what else will he do?  What else will any of them do?