Fox host calls out GOP senator for pushing conspiracy theory

Fox News host Chris Wallace pushed back against Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy, who repeated a debunked conspiracy theory promoted by President Trump that suggests Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. 

"Senator Kennedy, who do you believe was responsible for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign computers — their emails? Was it Russia or Ukraine?" Wallace asked. 

‘I don't know. Nor do you. Nor do any of us," said Kennedy.

"Let me just interrupt to say that the entire intelligence community says it was Russia,” Wallace said. U.S. intelligence, private investigators and the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller all attribute the hacking to Russian agents. 

“Right, but it could also be Ukraine,’” Kennedy said. “I'm not saying that I know one way or the other.”

Kennedy dismissed testimony from a former top national security adviser to Trump, Fiona Hill, who told Republicans in last week’s impeachment hearings to stop advancing a “fictional narrative” that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections rather than Russia.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace
See Gallery
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace
Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace and his wife Lorraine Martin Smothers arrive for the premiere of 'The Post' on December 14, 2017, in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: Russia's President Vladimir Putin (not in picture) gives an interview to Fox News Channel anchor Chris Wallace. Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Nikolsky\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 04: Chris Wallace awaiting the arrival of former Vice President Al Gore on the set of 'Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace' at FOX News D.C. Bureau on June 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News speaks during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19: Fox News anchor and moderator Chris Wallace waits for the start of the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight is the final debate ahead of Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: FOX News anchors (L-R) Chris Wallace, Megan Kelly and Bret Baier moderate the first prime-time Republican presidential debate hosted at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Fox News anchor Chris Wallace attends the 3rd Annual NFL Honors at Radio City Music Hall on February 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, seen on the set of his show at the Fox offices near Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 23, 2015. Wallace will be hosting the first debate in the Republican presidential primary and is working on his preparations for the task. Wallace said that his goal is to engage candidates in conversation with each other and avoid a scene that feels like ten separate news conferences. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: Chris Wallace takes part in an interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on 'FOX News Sunday' at the FOX News D.C. Bureau on July 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Chris Wallace at the News Corporation building in New York City, New York (Photo by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage)

"Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” said Hill, who until July was the deputy assistant to the president and senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council.

“The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016,” she added. “This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.”

“Ms. Hill is entitled to her opinion but no rebuttal evidence was allowed to be offered,” Kennedy told Wallace. “Republicans in the House wanted to call a witness, a DNC political operative who lobbied the Ukrainian Embassy to be involved, to get involved in the 2016 election.”

“We don’t know if Ukraine did that, we don’t know to what extent because they won’t let the president offer his evidence,” Kennedy continued. “And that’s why I’ll say once again, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence if you’re not allowed to call your own witnesses,” 

Trump, in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Friday following Hill’s testimony, doubled down on his belief in the unfounded conspiracy theory circulated by Fox News and conservative media, that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the previous presidential election.

“They have this server right from the DNC Democratic National Committee,” he told host Brian Kilmeade. “And I still want to see that server. You know, the FBI has never gotten that server. That's a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?”

“Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?” asked Kilmeade.

“Well, that's what the word is,” the president replied. 


Download the Yahoo News app to customize your experience.

Read more from Yahoo News:

Read Full Story