Sen. Ted Cruz, R.-TX., drew laughter Sunday on the set of NBC's "Meet The Press" program after he promoted a theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

"Do you believe that Ukraine meddled in the American election in 2016?" host Chuck Todd asked Cruz.

"I do and I think there's considerable evidence," Cruz replied.

"You do?" Todd shot back incredulously, drawing laughter from the NBC studio.

Cruz, who faced Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries, said that a 2016 anti-Trump op-ed by Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., was evidence to support the theory. Chaly wrote the op-ed after then-Republican presidential nominee Trump said that the people in Russian-occupied Crimea would rather stay with Russia over returning to Ukraine.

In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea.

Trump was likely referring to a referendum saying that the vast majority of Crimeans would like to stay with Russia. The referendum was deemed illegitimate by the U.S., Canada and most EU countries. 

During the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine, pro-Trump Rep. Devin Nunes, R.-Calif., has also pushed the Ukraine interference theory. During the public impeachment hearings last month former National Security Council official Fiona Hill shot back at Republicans pushing the narrative.

“I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016,” Hill told the House Intelligence Committee. "These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes."

A Senate intelligence report released earlier this year showed "extensive" evidence that Russia intervened in the 2016 election, with Russian disinformation often used to promote Trump over his then-opponent Hillary Clinton.