How ‘Kremlin-friendly’ MAGA Republicans — and Tulsi Gabbard — became propaganda for Russia’s Ukraine invasion

How ‘Kremlin-friendly’ MAGA Republicans — and Tulsi Gabbard — became propaganda for Russia’s Ukraine invasion

Some conservative Republicans have been unwavering in their disdain for Russian President Vladimir Putin, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. But in MAGA World, Putin has a long list of apologists — even as thousands of people die during Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. And Never Trump conservative Amanda Carpenter, in an article published by The Bulwark on March 14, takes a look at some of the “Kremlin-friendly” talking points coming from America’s far right.

“During the Cold War,” Carpenter explains, “the Soviet Union invested heavily in its global disinformation and propaganda efforts. And back in 2016, the Russians had to go to the trouble of creating a troll farm to push their divisive messages to the American audience. But today, they needn’t go to such lengths: Plenty of prominent right-wing media figures in the United States are pushing out Vladimir Putin’s propaganda for him.”

The media figures and politicians that Carpenter slams as “Kremlin-friendly” in her article include Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, the Daily Wire’s Candace Owens, former President Donald Trump, “War Room” host Steve Bannon and Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina. Carpenter notes that these are the sort of MAGA Republicans Cheney has dubbed “the Putin wing of the GOP.”

“It’s all the same people: fringe internet figures, Fox News hosts, Steve Bannon and his acolytes, Marjorie Tayor Greene caucus members, and the millions of people who love them,” Carpenter observes. “Most of these people claim to be free-thinking contrarians, but their accusations, questions, and conclusions about the United States, Russia and Ukraine always seem to go one way: The United States and Ukraine are somehow wrong, and the Russians have their reasons for waging war. If you don’t believe that, it’s only because all the Democrats are lying to you. Well, all the Democrats except for 2022 CPAC special guest Tulsi Gabbard, anyway.”

Carpenter notes that Carlson’s commentary on Fox News has been “so Kremlin-friendly” that according to a Kremlin memo obtained by Mother Jones, Kremlin officials have asked government-run media outlets to feature more clips of him.

Mother Jones’ David Corn reported, “On March 3, as Russian military forces bombed Ukrainian cities as part of Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of his neighbor, the Kremlin sent out talking points to state-friendly media outlets with a request: Use more Tucker Carlson.”

Carlson has promoted the conspiracy theory that the Ukrainian government is manufacturing bioweapons in laboratories and that Putin is merely protecting Russia’s safety by invading Ukraine.

Carpenter comments, “One could have guessed that the same people who blamed Dr. Fauci for the coronavirus might try to find some other government bureaucrats to blame for Putin’s war. This time, according to Carlson, ‘Dangerous biological agents remain, thanks to the Biden Administration, unsecured in a chaotic war zone’…. This is the big story in their minds. Not the Russian invasion and the unfolding humanitarian disaster, but the Russian disinformation about bioweapons, which provides a cudgel for whacking the Biden Administration — no matter how bogus the claims.”

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