RussiaOctober 30 2022, 12:09 pm

US Political Candidates Increasingly Spread Russian Talking Points on Ukraine; Trend Began with Tucker Carlson

US media is report­ing on how US can­di­dates for pub­lic office are increas­ing­ly spread­ing Russ­ian talk­ing points on Ukraine, pri­mar­i­ly but not only by Repub­li­cans. Accord­ing to the For­eign Pol­i­cy  (FP) article:

Octo­ber 13, 2022 When Tes­la chief exec­u­tive Musk tweet­ed his sup­port Rus­si­a’s dis­mem­ber­ment of Ukri­nane, he used some high­ly reveal­ing lan­guage. Crimea should be Russ­ian, he tweet­ed, because of “Krushchev’s mistake’—a ref­er­ence to Sovi­et leader Niki­ta Krushchev’s redraw­ing of inter­nal Sovi­et bor­ders. That par­tic­u­lar word­ing has nev­er been part of the U.S. debate about Ukraine, but it is the stan­dard lan­guage used by the Krem­lin for its claims on Ukrain­ian land. It’s not the only talk­ing point Musk has embraced that will be famil­iar to any­one fol­low­ing Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da. Musk’s tweets are a promi­nent exam­ple of a wor­ri­some trend: Krem­lin talk­ing points are creep­ing back into the U.S. debate. Few issues have unit­ed Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans again after years of intense polar­iza­tion as much as sup­port­ing Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s bru­tal and unpro­voked inva­sion. In the U.S. Con­gress, there has been strong bipar­ti­san back­ing for weapons deliv­er­ies and oth­er aid to Kyiv, as well as for for­ti­fy­ing NATO’s east­ern fron­tier. Until recent­ly, voic­es sup­port­ing the Krem­lin were few and far between, most promi­nent­ly, Fox News host Tuck­er Carl­son and for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. Carl­son open­ly declared he was on Russia’s side, and Trump praised Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin for his clev­er­ness for invad­ing Ukraine. As noisy as they were, these voic­es were over­pow­ered by a con­sen­sus about the war and how the Unit­ed States should respond. Now, there are cracks in this con­sen­sus, with Musk the lat­est exam­ple of Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da slip­ping back into the pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion. With cam­paign­ing for next mon­th’s U.S. midterm elec­tions heat­ing up, Putin’s talk­ing points are increas­ing­ly being spread by can­di­dates run­ning for office, as we doc­u­ment with the Midterms Mon­i­tor, a joint social-media track­ing project of the Alliance for Secur­ing Democ­ra­cy at the Ger­man Mar­shal Fund and the Bren­nan Cen­ter for Jus­tice. The mon­i­tor has cap­tured more than 2,300 tweets by U.S. can­di­dates for Con­gress or state office deal­ing with Ukraine since Aug. 1. Many of these posts are crit­i­cal of Rus­sia and back the US pol­i­cy on the war. But a noisy minor­i­ty- most, but not all, Repub­li­cans- are also par­rot­ing the most egre­gious Krem­lin propaganda.

Read the rest here (sub­scrip­tion may be required)

Exam­ples of Repub­li­can can­di­dates pro­vid­ed by the FP report include:

  • J.D. Vance, a Repub­li­can can­di­date for the US Sen­ate in Ohio, is cam­paign­ing on an end to aid for Ukraine and just called for “nego­ti­a­tions” with Putin
  • Mayra Flo­res, a Repub­li­can can­di­date for the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Texas, tweet­ed: “Con­gress just vot­ed to send anoth­er $12,300,000,000 to Ukraine! … Why aren’t we putting Amer­i­ca’s best inter­ests first?”
  • Allen Waters, a Repub­li­can House can­di­date from Rhode Island, shared, “#Amer­i­caFirst not #Ukraine. Keep Rhode Island safe from nuclear conflict.”
  • Don­nie Palmer, a Repub­li­can House can­di­date from Mass­a­chu­setts, praised Trump by say­ing: “did he get us into a war … did he blow up 2 pipelines, is he back­ing Nazis in Ukraine?”
  • Eric Brew­er, Repub­li­can House can­di­date from Ohio, attacked the US ambas­sador to the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­ri­ty and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe,
  • Michael Car­pen­ter: “@USAmbOSCE Car­pen­ter is omit­ting the con­text for Putin’s mil­i­tary oper­a­tion … He’s ignor­ing Ukraine’s 8 years of war crimes & Rus­si­a’s 8 years of restraint. Putin act­ed late.”
  • Deri­sion for the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment is being spread as well. “What classy peo­ple the gov­ern­ment of Ukraine employs,” tweet­ed Irene Armen­dariz Jack­son, a Repub­li­can House can­di­date from Texas, at a Ukrain­ian diplo­mat who used an exple­tive in response to Musk’s sug­ges­tion to sur­ren­der Crimea.
  • Repub­li­can Con­gress­man Paul Gosar’s state­ment that the Unit­ed States “does­n’t owe Zelen­sky a damn thing.”

The FP report notes that Amer­i­can anti-Ukraine voic­es are also often rebroad­cast on Russ­ian state media for a Russ­ian audi­ence, which also serves the Krem­lin’s pro­pa­gan­da oper­a­tions. As also not­ed in the FP report, the anti-Ukraine/pro-Russ­ian trend began with Fox News star Tuck­er Carl­son. The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed today on the con­tin­u­ing ampli­fi­ca­tion by Russ­ian-con­trolled media of Car­lon’s anti-Ukraine, pro-Krem­lin rhetoric.

A GIOR report on the Glob­al Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive Alliance (GNCA) detailed Carl­son’s con­tin­ued sup­port for the Hun­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment and its Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban, Rus­si­a’s clos­est part­ner in the EU. That report also doc­u­ment­ed Carl­son’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences spon­sored by the US-based Edmund Burke Foundation.


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