Viral hashtag #PutinsGOP exposes how closely Republicans are tied to Russia and the Kremlin

Right now on Twitter #PutinsGOP is among the top trending topics. Its goal, apparently, is to expose and highlight the close ties some top Republicans have with the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Remember, Russia is an enemy of the United States. Most Americans agree on thatRussia attacked our election with the intent to sow discord and later, to install Donald Trump as president. That's per the U.S. government's intelligence community.

Many of the #PutinsGOP tweets cite proven news stories.

Like the eight Republicans who spent the 4th of July in Moscow last year, meeting with Russian officials.

In case you're skeptical, here's Dana Milbank, veteran Washington Post journalist, writing about the visit last year:

What does July 4th mean to me? Freedom,” Sen. Ron Johnson chirruped on Twitter on Independence Day.

For the Wisconsin Republican, it meant, specifically, the freedom to spend July 4 in Moscow with seven other Republican lawmakers posing for propaganda photos with Russian officials. On the same day it was reported in Britain that two more people had been poisoned by a Russian nerve agent British officials say came from Vladimir Putin’s regime. On the day after the Senate Intelligence Committee affirmed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump.

Johnson and his colleagues apparently exercised their freedom not to meet with opposition or civil society figures (those whom the Putin regime has not imprisoned or killed), avoiding the risk of offending their hosts. They also exercised their freedom to soft-pedal their criticism of the Russian government, leading Russian politicians and state media to mock them as supplicants.

Or Donald Trump, Jr., bragging about his and the Trump Organization's business dealings with Russia.

Or, Donald Trump himself, talking about his business dealings with Russia:

There's this tweet which refers to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) delivering a letter from President trump to President Putin. Here's the story from Politico back in August of 2018. It also links to a CNN story about a sanctioned Russian corporate giant "investing $200 million in a Kentucky mill."

And, of course, these photos. The unprecedented act by President Donald Trump of inviting Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov into the Oval Office, with no Secret Service present. It was then Trump told the Russians he had fired "nut job" FBI Director Jim Comey, saying it relieved "great pressure" for him.

During that Oval Office visit Trump revealed "code word" classified information to his Russian visitors.

And who can forget this disturbing story from 2016?

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