Kenneth Tran

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow explains origins of how McConnell earned his 'Moscow Mitch' moniker

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow explained on Tuesday why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been labeled "Moscow Mitch" by critics.

In January 2019, she began, the Senate voted on measures to enforce sanctions against a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who is known to be an influential and powerful ally to the Kremlin. In 2018, the Department of the Treasury established sanctions against Deripaska along with other Russian oligarchs for taking part "in a range of malign activity around the globe." Bloomberg later reported that Deripaska was evading those sanctions.

Democrats moved to enforce the sanctions against Deripaska but were defeated by the McConnell-led Republican majority. The sanctions had majority support in both the House and the Senate, but the measures needed 60 votes in the Senate. Republicans followed former President Trump's warmer attitudes toward Russia and successfully blocked the sanctions in a 57-42 vote. Maddow said this is "how Senator McConnell got the nickname 'Moscow Mitch.'"

At the same time as McConnell blocked the sanctions, there were negotiations between a Deripaska-owned company, Rusal, and an American entrepreneur with plans to build an aluminum factory in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell's home state.

"Deripaska's company had dangled to Mitch McConnell that they might build a big new factory in Mitch McConnell's home state." Maddow continued. "And then McConnell took those otherwise unthinkable steps to protect Deripaska and ease the sanctions on him."

McConnell told reporters that his vote and efforts to lift the sanctions were "completely unrelated to anything that might happen in my home state," Politico reported. Politico also found that ex-McConnell staffers were also lobbying on the development of the same aluminium factory in Kentucky.

Maddow's reminder comes as the FBI recently raided homes linked to Deripaska, both in New York and in D.C. The FBI told "The New York Times" that agents were "conducting a law enforcement operation pursuant to a law enforcement investigation." According to the Times, people familiar with the matter say the raids are related to the sanctions that Deripaska evaded.

Watch below via MSNBC:


Daughter blames Fox News' Tucker Carlson for unvaccinated father's death

On Monday, two children who lost their father to COVID-19 appeared on CNN to urge others to get vaccinated and blamed Fox News for his death.

Katie Lane said Fox News' Tucker Carlson "played a role" in her father's death.

"There's multiple reasons, I think. One of which was some of the media he ingested," Lane said. "He watched some Tucker Carlson videos on Youtube. And some of those videos involved some misinformation about vaccines and I believed that played a role."

Patrick Lane died from COVID-19 and was unvaccinated and prior to his illness, was hesitant about getting vaccinated. Before he died, Katie said her father's final words in a last call to her stepmom were that "he wished he was vaccinated."

Evan Lane, Patrick Lane's son, stressed he wasn't "anti-vaccine. He was just hesitant." He said that if he was still alive by the time Pfizer's vaccine was fully approved by the FDA, he most likely would have got vaccinated.

At one point, before he got sick, Evans' father didn't want to hug Patrick Lane because he didn't want to risk getting his son sick. Evan said "I didn't even get to hug him before he left. And then before I knew it, he was gone."

Daughter says media misinformation contributed to dad's Covid-19 death www.youtube.com

Patrick Lane is one of many who have fallen victim to the vaccine misinformation spread by Carlson, who is the host of the most watched cable news shows, broadcasting to at least 3 million viewers. Carlson has repeatedly questioned the vaccine's effectiveness, at one point suggesting the vaccine is deadly and that there is a cover-up behind the vaccine's side-effects.

There is no evidence that the vaccine is deadly, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the vaccine is safe and effective.

BRAND NEW STORIES

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.