Jon Stewart: MAGA Republicans view Putin as a ‘ideological brother’

Jon Stewart: MAGA Republicans view Putin as a ‘ideological brother’

For aging Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers who are old enough to remember the Cold War, it’s incredibly ironic that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been praised, revered and admired by so many MAGA Republicans — from former President Donald Trump to “War Room” host Steve Bannon to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. Veteran comedian Jon Stewart, who now hosts “The Problem With Jon Stewart” on Apple TV, discussed the MAGA movement’s affinity for Putin during an early March appearance on the New York Times’ podcast “Sway.”

With Russian troops, under orders from Putin, carrying out a horrific invasion of Ukraine — more than 2000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far, according to Ukraine’s emergency service — Stewart told “Sway” host Kara Swisher that in the U.S., parts of the far right view Putin as “an ideological brother.”

“For years,” Stewart told Swisher, “it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal with Putin than Pelosi…. Steve Bannon, that’s his strategy — he’s working with those guys. Hungary and Eastern Bloc dictators are their test kitchens in the way that McDonald’s will test a new sandwich in Columbus.”

Stewart went on to tell Swisher, “That wing of it is in league; they view Putin as a defender of western civilization…. It’s an orthodox Christian, generally homogenous society — very conservative, unfriendly to gays and minorities. Kind of their world, isn’t it? If they were able to say what they really wanted to say — and sometimes, they do say it, depending on which hour of Fox you’re watching.”

Swisher noted that Carlson has been a “defender” of Putin, and Stewart slammed the Fox News host as someone who doesn’t really believe the nonsense he espouses.

“When you deal with such a dishonest propagandist — and that is what he is — there’s nothing you can take out of context, because none of it is real,” Stewart told Swisher. “You know, he’s admitted, when he’s cornered, he lies. It’s all a game and a performance. I mean, honestly, I have no idea what the fuck that guy believes. Truly. How does anybody go on television and say: why shouldn’t I be rooting for Russia, which by the way, I am? He just said it straight out.”

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