Newsweek is reporting that Vermin Supreme, a former Libertarian candidate for president, has recently denounced his involvement in the party due to what he perceives as a lack of effectiveness and credibility. Specifically, he took issue with the party’s newly installed leadership and their handling of an upcoming anti-war rally, which he believed was being undermined by controversial demands and messengers. The February 19 “Rage Against The War Machine” rally includes demands such as promoting immediate peace in Ukraine, global nuclear de-escalation, the abolition of the CIA and the military-industrial complex, and the disbandment of NATO, among others. According to Newsweek, while these demands are not uncommon in the anti-war movement, Vermin Supreme disagreed with the messengers and ultimately decided to distance himself from the party. Scheduled to speak at the rally are several apologists for Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, including the following individuals already covered by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR):
- Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, known for pro-Russian conspiracy theories on Ukraine and her political campaign support from a Putin apologist and an accused Russian spy:
- Former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, whose Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPIPP) has been reported to “regularly advocates positions that regurgitate Russian nationalist talking points, minimize xenophobic and illiberal attitudes prevalent in the former Eastern bloc, or excuse authoritarian tendencies.”
- Journalist Max Blumenthal, a regular contributor to propaganda outlets like Russia Today and Sputnik who has been described as among the most influential left-wing amplifiers of pro-Russian propaganda in the West
The event will also feature Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams, who, according to Newsweek, made the following statement supporting Russia and employing themes also espoused by Vladamir Putin:
Do you want your kids to be forced to go to drag queen shows with perverts or do you want to live in a country where it is illegal for adults to sexually attack your children?” he tweeted earlier this week. “I’m with Russia. 100%. Let the “libertarians” lose their s*** over this: I’m with Putin!”
Newsweek also reported that “The straw that broke the camel’s back” for Vermin Supreme was:
.…the initial inclusion of speakers like Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector and contributor to Russian propaganda outlet Russia Today who was twice charged for attempting to solicit sex from undercover officers posing as children. (Ritter has since been removed from the program, according to a webpage advertising the event.)His initial inclusion—plus the inclusion of speakers with pro-Russian sympathies—only sought to undermine whatever message the party hoped to advance, critics claimed.
Read the full Newsweek report here.