After Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) falsely suggested that Ukraine was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, The Hill repeated it on Twitter at least nine times -- despite already reporting two days earlier that the claim was both false and part of a Russian disinformation effort.
On the November 24 edition of Fox News Sunday, Kennedy was asked, “Who do you believe was responsible for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign computers, their emails? Was it Russia, or Ukraine?” He responded: “I don’t know, nor do you, nor do any of us.” After anchor Chris Wallace reminded him that “the entire intelligence community says it was Russia,” Kennedy responded, “Right, but it could also be Ukraine.”
Former White House Russia expert Fiona Hill explained in her testimony to the House impeachment inquiry that “this is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.” After President Donald Trump pushed the lie again in a Friday Fox & Friends interview, an article from The Hill noted that this was a “debunked claim” and a “conspiracy theory,” and included Hill’s statement that Russia’s security services had pushed the lie themselves. The New York Times also reported on Friday that the American intelligence community has briefed senators that “Russia had engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election.”
Despite The Hill’s own acknowledgement of the facts, the outlet published at least nine tweets repeating Kennedy’s claim without explicitly noting it was false or a lie being spread by the Russian government.