During a heated interview with host Chuck Todd, the GOP senator joined the list of Republicans to support the conspiracy theory that Ukraine worked to influence the 2016 presidential election.
“Do you believe Ukraine meddled in the American election in 2016?” Todd asked the senator.
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“I do, and I think there’s considerable evidence,” Cruz replied.
“You do?” Todd responded incredulously, with a smirk on his face. At this point, laughter was picked up by the mic. Twitter users assumed someone on Todd’s staff couldn’t hold it in. However, the show is taped before a live audience, making it unclear who had a case of the chuckles.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 8, 2019
Todd went on to tell Cruz he found it strange that Cruz, whom President Donald Trump waged war on during the 2016 primaries, wasn’t more aware that this president was capable of creating “false narratives” about people in order to promote himself politically.
Cruz waved it off and went on to insist that Ukraine “blatantly interfered in our election,” but was only able to cite one op-ed, written by then-Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly, as evidence.
The op-ed condemned comments made by Trump hinting that he supported the 2014 invasion of Crimea by Russia, which is recognized internationally as a part of Ukraine. Todd told his guest that an op-ed was of a slightly different magnitude to Russia’s well-documented interference in the U.S. election to help Trump win.
Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate the debunked Ukraine claim during the July 25 phone call that sparked the impeachment probe, and has continued to promote the falsehood since ― despite it being widely discredited by the U.S. intelligence community. A GOP-led Senate inquiry into the matter was also said to have found no evidence to support the claim, according to CNN and Politico sources familiar with the matter.
Keen-eared Twitter users were quick to comment on Cruz’ “laugh track.”
Holy crap — you can hear people in the @MeetThePress studio laughing out loud right after Ted Cruz proclaims that he thinks Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. What an embarrassment. pic.twitter.com/TjqoP8R538
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2019
Love the laugh track. Ted Cruz is comedy https://t.co/leIXikj3PH
— IMPEACH COBBLER (@pablo_alejandro) December 8, 2019
Studio employees laugh out loud as Ted Cruz prostitutes self as Trump-cult stooge. https://t.co/tyClIAKEbC
— @StoicMeditation (@RussellMcNeil) December 8, 2019
Did I just hear all of Chuck Todd’s studio laugh when Ted Cruz said Ukraine meddled in 2016?
— Koshin Jimcali (@KoshinJimcali) December 8, 2019
Ted Cruz's lies on national TV are so egregious that the Meet the Press crew - THE CREW! - is heard laughing off camera.
Imagine doing all of this for the guy who called your wife ugly in front of the entire nation. Not even a SHRED of dignity.pic.twitter.com/FCETNOVHar
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) December 8, 2019
That was the collective laugh of all reasonable people bring fed this line of bullshit
— Heather (@myweirdmom1) December 8, 2019
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) December 8, 2019
This story has been updated to note the show has a live audience.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.