Chuck Todd challenges Cruz after senator pushes theory that Ukraine meddled in election

Source: The Hill | December 8, 2019 | Justin Wise

“Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd on Sunday repeatedly challenged Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over the unfounded allegation that Kyiv interfered in the 2016 election, arguing that Republicans were drawing a false equivalency between the actions of Russia and Ukraine during the campaign.

Todd made the comments after Cruz asserted on the NBC program that he believed there is “considerable evidence” that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election, echoing a line several GOP lawmakers have expressed in recent weeks. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to boost President Trump’s electoral prospects.

Intelligence officials have also reportedly briefed senators that Russia engaged in an effort to frame Kyiv for its election interference.

Todd appeared shocked by Cruz’s allegation, noting that it struck him as “odd,” given Trump’s past efforts to promote a false narrative about the Texas senator.

“You went through a primary campaign with this president. He launched a birtherism campaign against you. He went after your faith. He threatened to ‘spill the beans’ about your wife. Let me ask you this, is it not possible that this president is capable of creating a false narrative about somebody in order to help him politically,” Todd asked.

Cruz brushed off the question, arguing “that’s not what happened” with respect to Trump’s push for Ukraine to open an investigation into a conspiracy theory related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016.

He then went on to accuse the media of playing a “game” and asking misleading questions.

“Of course Russia interfered in the election,” Cruz said. “But here’s the game the media is playing. Because Russia interfered, the media pretends nobody else did. Ukraine blatantly interfered in our election.”

Cruz cited a 2016 op-ed in The Hill from Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly as evidence of meddling. Chaly’s opinion column had criticized Trump stating amid the campaign that he would recognize Crimea as a Russian territory. The U.S. and most of the international community has refused to recognize Russia’s 2014 annexation of the territory. 

Todd quickly raised issues with comparison, saying that Cruz was stating that an op-ed was the same as Russia’s coordinated efforts to interfere in the presidential election. 

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  •  Consistent #34008

     Consistent #34009

     EVERYDAY #34010

    Well, Ted’s a full-fledged member of the Trump cult now, and cult members love to promote phony conspiracy theories.

    It’s too bad because Cruz himself was a victim of the Trump campaign machine’s conspiracy theory smears back in 2016. Now he embraces similar nonsense and actively promotes it.

    Too bad, Ted. You could have resurrected this country once Trump fell. Now you are just a part of his mafia. You could have been a hero. Now you ae just another self-serving politician who will actively embrace what you know is wrong just to further your career. A sad end to what was once a good man. Bye Ted. If you are swept away with the rest of those who embraced Trump when the fall comes, don’t look for once avid supporters like me to come to your rescue.

     Consistent #34055

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