John Kennedy, I knew John Kennedy. And you’re no John Kennedy!

Commentary

Louisiana senator’s outrageous statements regarding Ukraine interference topped only by his cowardly retraction

Senator John Neely Kennedy (R-La) appeared on Fox News Sunday this weekend for an interview with that network’s Chris Wallace. The interview came a few days after Dr. Fiona Hill, a former member of Donald Trump’s National Security Council warned in her public testimony that the idea of Ukraine interfering with the 2016 election, rather than Russia, was “a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by” Russia itself.

But guess what? Kennedy actually floated that “fictional narrative” in his interview with Wallace.

CHRIS WALLACE: Sen. Kennedy, who do you believe was responsible for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign computers, their emails? Was it Russia or Ukraine?

SEN. KENNEDY: I don’t know, nor do you, nor do any of us. Ms. Hill is entitled to her —

WALLACE: Well, let me interrupt to say — the entire intelligence community says it was Russia.

KENNEDY: Right, but it could also be Ukraine. I’m not saying that I know one way or the other. I’m saying that Ms. Hill is entitled to her opinion but no rebuttal evidence was allowed to be offered.

To be clear, Kennedy wasn’t even saying that both Ukraine and Russia interfered; he was asked which one was responsible for the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign email hacks. And even though the U.S. intelligence community has concluded they were perpetrated by Russia and dozens of Russians have been charged by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, he said it could be Ukraine.

By Monday, however, Kennedy was walking back his comments.

Appearing on CNN, Kennedy acknowledged that he was “wrong” to say just a day prior that there weren’t definitive answers on who hacked the DNC ahead of the 2016 election. Kennedy claimed he’d misheard a question from Chris Wallace causing him to answer incorrectly.

“I was answering one of his questions, and he interjected with a statement and asked me to react to it. What I heard Chris say was only Russia tried to interfere in the election, and I answered the question. That’s not what he said,” Kennedy said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” noting that Wallace’s question focused on DNC servers. 

“Chris is right. I was wrong,” he said. “The only evidence I have, and I think it’s overwhelming, is that it was Russia who tried to hack the DNC computer. I’ve seen no indication that Ukraine tried to do it.”

Well, John Kennedy, thanks for the walk back. And thanks for clearing up what everyone actually knows, that the overwhelming evidence is that “it was Russia who tried to hack the DNC computers.” And even greater thanks for making that walk back on CNN, the network, you know, where none of the Fox viewers who saw your original statement, will ever see or hear your revised statement.

Yes, John Kennedy, you’re no John Kennedy. The real John Kennedy wrote a book, “Profiles in Courage.” Make no mistake, you would never qualify to be included in a book with that title. A book called “Profiles in Uncourage” seems like it would be more your speed.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

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