Republicans Have ‘Uttered’ Russian Propaganda in House

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Republican Rep. Mike Turner accused some of his colleagues of having “uttered” Russian propaganda “on the House floor” amid Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine.

“We see directly coming from Russia attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” the chair of the House Intelligence Committee told Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Turner’s comments back an earlier assertion by fellow Republican and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul, who told Puck News last week, “I think Russian propaganda has made its way into the United States, unfortunately, and it’s infected a good chunk of my party’s base.”

McCaul blamed conservative media outlets for pushing Russian propaganda, including “nighttime entertainment shows” that spew “identical” talking points being used by Russian state media. He mentioned “these people that read various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda” and said it was “obvious” which of his GOP colleagues had fallen for it. That’s when McCaul’s staff insisted the conversation be moved off the record.

“I mean, there are members of Congress today who still incorrectly say that this conflict between Russia and Ukraine is over NATO, which, of course, it is not,” Turner said Sunday. “Vladimir Putin having made it very clear, both publicly and to his own population, that his view is that this is a conflict of a much broader claim of Russia to Eastern Europe, including claiming all of Ukraine territory as Russia’s.”

“To the extent that this propaganda takes hold, it makes it more difficult for us to really see this as an authoritarian versus democracy battle, which is what it is,” Turner added.

Republican members of the House, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have recently opposed any additional aid to Ukraine. Greene has threatened to hold a vote to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson if he brings Ukraine aid to a floor vote. Turner said he doesn’t see “any risk” that Johnson will be ousted.

Turner also said he supports sending more aid to Ukraine. But approximately half of Republicans polled late last year by Pew Research said the U.S. is giving the country “too much” support.

“We need to make certain that that we know that authoritarian regimes never stop when they start an aggression. Ukraine needs our help and assistance now,” Turner said.

On the same day Turner’s interview aired, RNC Chair Michael Whatley appeared on Fox News where he claimed Ukraine was an “aggressive” opponent of the U.S. along with China and Iran.

Of course congressional Republicans, party leadership and GOP voters have bought into Putin’s propaganda in no small part because it is being spewed by their party’s leader, Donald Trump. In 2022, Trump said the Putin was “genius” and “savvy” for invading Ukraine. Trump often goes out of his way to avoid even mild criticism of Putin. During a town hall in May of last year, he refused to say whether he wants Ukraine or Russia to be victorious. He has also claimed he could end Russia’s war in Ukraine “in one day” — presumably by forcing Ukraine to concede portions of its sovereign territory.

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“Trump thinks Putin is a badass, and that’s how he sees himself as well,” Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served on Trump’s National Security Council told The Washington Post.

It’s no wonder members of his party are following suit. Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Saturday that Ukraine risks running out of defense missiles without increased aid: “We must increase the number of long-range anti-aircraft defense systems… If they keep hitting [Ukraine] every day the way they have for the last month, we might run out of missiles, and the partners know it.”





Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/turner-republicans-uttered-russian-propaganda-house-floor-1235000251/

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