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It's easy to dismiss Louisiana GOP Senator John Kennedy.

He comes across like some redneck swamp thing that shows up with unclear intentions and starts talking batshit to you while you're pumping gas at the first exit after you hit Louisiana, before you hit the bridge across Lake Pontchartrain into New Orleans. You look around for the van from which he escaped, but there is no van. You hope your friend is done buying cigarettes inside the station very soon, so you can escape the mysterious bumbling redneck swamp creature who smells of Skoal, cousin marriage, and a lifetime of regret, allegedly.

Surely this is not some Kremlin-affiliated asset with a master plan, besides of course the master plan he's been drawing up to get the pretty lady at Cracker Barrel to give him seconds on cheese grits! OR IS IT?

But yet there Kennedy was on Sunday's episode of "Stop Ruffilin' My Beard!" with host Chuck Todd, spreading Russian propaganda about imaginary Ukrainian election interference that he's been told repeatedly is Russian propaganda, that Fiona Hill said is Russian propaganda, and that the US intelligence community briefed senators is Russian propaganda.


We already shared a lot of the transcript and video in an earlier post, but here it is again.

Full Kennedy: On Fiona Hill's Warning On Russia, She Is 'Entitled To Her Opinion' | Meet The Press www.youtube.com


KENNEDY: I think it's been well documented in the Financial Times, in Politico, in The Economist, in 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 on social media and otherwise. They worked with a DNC operative --

OK fuck you, and also no, and also fuck you. Literally none of that happened.

Chuck Todd was pissed, like he often gets these days when people disobey the order that is the name of his show ("Stop Rufflin' My Beard!") and proceed to ruffle his beard with Russian propaganda.

TODD: I mean, my goodness, wait a minute, Senator Kennedy, you now have the president of Ukraine saying he actively worked for the Democratic nominee for president. I mean, now come on. I mean, I got to put up — you realize the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is this man, Vladimir Putin. This is what he said on November 20th: "Thank God nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in U.S. elections. Now they're accusing Ukraine. Well, let them sort this out among themselves." You just accused a former president of Ukraine. You have done exactly what the Russian operation is trying to get American politicians to do. Are you at all concerned that you've been duped?

KENNEDY: No, because you -- just read the articles ...

Don't blame John Kennedy, blame The Articles!

Kennedy told Todd he didn't go to the briefing where the intel people said "Hey this is Russian propaganda," and we guess none of the other senators talk to him (cf. that thing about how he emerges as a swamp redneck as you are pumping gas by the side of the road in Hammond, Louisiana, allegedly), and we guess he's just lying when he says he's read in The Articles that Ukraine's government was meddling in the 2016 election to help Hillary Clinton.

Wait, Haven't We Heard This Before?

Here's the thing, though.

This isn't just something John Kennedy snorted off a poison toad's taint during a weekend bender in the Atchafalaya Basin. We've heard this before. We just came off a week and a half worth of impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee where Devin Nunes and other mouthbreathers shouted incoherent things like "ALEXANDRA CHALUPA!" and tried their fucking damnedest to invent a narrative wherein Ukrainian officials committed coordinated nefarious acts in order to help Hillary Clinton and hurt Donald Trump in 2016.

They pushed this bullshit narrative, even though Democratic lawyer Daniel Goldman repeatedly showed witnesses the transcript of a presser given by Vladimir Putin in early 2017, where he planted the seeds of the fake Ukrainian collusion story. They did this even as former White House Russia adviser Fiona Hill called their bluff and decided to spend some time talking about the so-called "meddling" acts performed by Ukrainian officials, as cited by Republicans. Indeed, one of the things Republicans are obsessed with is an op-ed in The Hill from the former Ukrainian ambassador to America (you know, the guy Americans listen to when deciding for whom to vote), who was pissed at Trump for being such a shithole toward Ukraine and supporting Russia's side IN THE WAR RUSSIA DECLARED ON UKRAINE WHEN IT INVADED AND STOLE THEIR LAND. Hill noted that oh by the way, most of the article was actually about Ukraine, and that Trump's comments about the war on Ukraine were actually just the "peg" the ambassador used to lead into what he was actually saying.

The other article Hill discussed was this January 2017 piece of shit from Ken Vogel that lists a handful of Ukrainian officials who said and did things that indicate maybe they don't like Trump very much, but which nonetheless explicitly states that there is "little evidence" of a "top-down effort by Ukraine" to meddle in the 2016 election. So, to put a fine point on it, if you actually read the article, it says there's no "there" there, despite Ken Vogel's contortionist efforts to find a "there."

(Philip Bump has a good rundown today of the entirety of Republicans' manufactured "Ukraine collusion" narrative. Bookmark it.)

Throughout the hearings, we joked a lot that Republicans were essentially arguing that a random Ukrainian saying something mean about Donald Trump on Facebook was somehow equivalent to Russia's "sweeping and systematic" attack on the 2016 elections to install Trump and fuck Hillary. Wait, did we say we "joked a lot" about that? We meant to say we stated that factually, because of how that's how fucking bullshit their narrative really is.

And yet that's the exact narrative Kennedy is helping to perpetuate. Seriously, read the transcript. (The Kennedy transcript, we mean. You can also READ TEH TAJT;KLJASKJSDFJK;J;KDSAJFJPENISTREECRIPT! of Trump's Ukraine treason call if you want.)

Kennedy is one of the loudest purveyors of this Kremlin propaganda -- as we said, he's been spreading it on TV for weeks, and the one time he's walked something back was a true DO NOT CONGRATULATE moment, as he simply admitted that there's no evidence Ukraine tried to hack the DNC, which he had asserted as a distinct possibility to Fox News's Chris Wallace.

But it's the same propaganda Devin Nunes spent a week and a half spewing, and it's the same thing we're about to watch from Republicans on the Judiciary Committee when hearings start on Wednesday. Kennedy didn't make this up all by himself.

In Summary And In Conclusion, STOP. BOOKING. THIS. FUCKING. KREMLIN. PROPAGANDA. SPEWING. HICKBABY.

That NeverTrumper guy Tom Nichols tweeted a thing about Kennedy that is correct. (Yes, the guy who's wrong about Indian food and singlehandedly made Twitter stupid for like two weeks. He's right about this, though.)

It's time for the TV people to stop booking John Kennedy, just like many of them stopped booking Kellyanne Conway, because all she ever does is lie like a common Kellyanne Conway. The man stubbornly refuses to say anything on TV that isn't Russian propaganda, and he delivers it in folksy incantations for the very rubes Trump and Putin are trying to maintain their hold on. He serves no other purpose. It's not entertaining, it's not informative, and it's destructive.

So stop. booking. him.

And if he doesn't like it, he can go fuck a Louisiana swamp alligator right in the pooterhole, except for how we wouldn't recommend that, because that alligator would biiiiiiiite hiiiiiiiiiiim.

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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