Monday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Financial Times U.S. national editor Edward Luce said he "can't find" what article Sen. John Kennedy was citing when he said that publication had documented evidence that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was "actively" working for Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign.
"I think both Russia and Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. I think it’s been well documented in the Financial Times and Politico and The Economist and the Washington Examiner, even on CBS that the prime minister of Ukraine, the interior minister, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, the head of the Ukrainian anti-corruption league all meddled in the election," Kennedy said Sunday on "Meet the Press."
"I've been wracking my brain, as have colleagues, as to which Financial Times reporting Sen. Kennedy is referring to in support of this really fanciful contention that Ukraine meddled in the elections and I can't find it," Luce said Monday morning. "I don't know whether he did the same with the Washington Examiner and The Economist and so forth. But it seems like he just plucked those newspaper names out of thin air."
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"It is a corrupt country, but the idea that Ukraine intervened in the U.S. election specifically is not something Sen. Kennedy can point to The Financial Times as supporting."
"I'm not too aware of any credible reporting on that subject," he added. "I think Fiona Hill was absolutely right when she said this is a conspiracy theory, an alternative reality that was cooked up in the Kremlin, and that, from farm to fork, is now coming out of Sen. Kennedy’s mouth."
Luce said he wasn’t surprised that Republicans like Kennedy were trying to throw "dust" into the air to muddy the impeachment debate but "it is profoundly dispiriting in a geopolitical sense that not just a senator but an entire party that controls one half of Congress plus the White House is parroting a complete moon-barking conspiracy theory about the 2016 election."
"They can attack the process, which they are trying to do by refusing to cooperate, and they can just try and throw enough dust in our eyes so we get confused and think 'Oh Russia, Ukraine, you know, well, they’re all pretty much the same, each side is as bad as each other.'"
"And it seems to be working with their base," Luce concluded. "That's why I think at the moment people are predicting there aren't going to be any Republican defections in the Senate trial."