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GOP Sen. John Kennedy told CNN Monday he was wrong in reiterating a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine may have interfered in the 2016 presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee's computer servers.

KENNEDY: I did that interview yesterday with Chris Wallace, damn good reporter. I was answering one of his questions and he interjected a statement and asked me to react to it. What I heard Chris say was he made the statement that only Russia had tried to interfere in the election. And I answered the question. That's not what he said. I went back and looked at the transcript. He said only Russia tried to hack the DNC computer. Now, Chris is right. I was wrong. The only evidence I have and I think it's overwhelming is that it was Russia who tried to hack the DNC computer. 

CHRIS CUOMO: That's what the consensus is. 

KENNEDY: Yup. I've seen no indication that Ukraine tried to do it. 

Why it matters: Kennedy made the Ukraine interference comments after former National Security Council official Fiona Hill called the conspiracy "a fictional narrative that is being perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves" in a public impeachment hearing last week.

  • Republicans have attempted to use the theory as justification for President Trump withholding military aid until Ukraine agreed to carry out an investigation into the 2016 election.
  • The aid freeze is now a key sticking point for Democrats in the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Shutdown Plan B

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate will hold a futile vote Monday night — just 72 hours before a potential shutdown — on a House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: The bill is going to fail. Period. But then comes Plan B: A "clean" continuing resolution — stripped of language about raising the debt limit — that Democrats spent the past week preparing, Axios is told.

Glenn Youngkin's play: Forever- and Never-Trumpers

Glenn Youngkin in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Friday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Standing on a flatbed hitched to a John Deere tractor in red Rockingham County, Virginia, Glenn Youngkin decried California liberalism and bashed his rival, Terry McAuliffe. He also encouraged early voting. Two words he avoided: Donald Trump.

Driving the news: Youngkin, the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee, is mounting a serious challenge to McAuliffe — a former governor and veteran of Democratic politics. Axios caught up with him on Friday in Harrisonburg, Virginia.