Russia did interfere in the 2016 election, but so did Ukraine, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asserted on Sunday, challenging a widely circulated talking point in the media.
A slew of media outlets have claimed that Republicans are trying to argue Ukraine interfered in the election instead of Russia, but many GOP members are of the mind that both countries actually interfered.
Asked by NBCs “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd if he thinks Ukraine meddled in the election, Cruz said: “I do. And I think theres considerable evidence of that.”
Todd claimed that such a belief was “odd.”
“Chuck, let me point out a game that the media is playing. You know, a question that youve asked a number of people is youve said to senators, sort of aghast, Do you believe that Ukraine, and not Russia, interfered in the election? Now, that, in a court of law, would be struck as a misleading question. Of course, Russia interfered in our election. Nobody looking at the evidence disputes that,” Cruz said.
“Look, on the evidence, Russia clearly interfered in our election,” he continued. “But heres the game the media is playing. Because Russia interfered, the media pretends nobody else did. Ukraine blatantly interfered in our election. The sitting ambassador from Ukraine wrote an op-ed blasting Donald Trump.”
After Todd said that there was no equating what Ukraine did with what Russia did, Cruz continued.
“Chuck, I understand that you want to dismiss Ukrainian interference, because, A) they were trying to get Hillary Clinton elected, which is what the vast majority of the media wanted, anyway; and B) its inconvenient for the narrative,” he said.
“You know, its hysterical. Two years ago, there was article after article after article in the mainstream media about Ukrainian interference in the elections. But now the Democrats have no evidence of a crime, no evidence of violating the law. And so suddenly, Ukrainian interference is treated as the media clutches their pearls. Oh, my goodness. You cant say that,'” he added.
A number of government officials and agencies in Ukraine tried interfering in the 2016 election. In one example the Ukrainian government released a so-called black ledger purportedly showing financial information about Paul Manafort, Donald Trumps campaign chairman in 2016. Manafort resigned in part because of the information in Aug. 2016. And multiple Ukrainian officials have