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Republicans Admit Russian Influence Over GOP

There was a time when Republicans would assert that Moscow held undue influence over the Democratic Party. They were castigated for it in the 1950s (Senator Joe McCarthy was particularly egregious). These days, it’s the Republicans themselves who are coming [1] under [2] influence [3] from [4] Moscow [5]. Moreover, I’m not the only one saying it – so don’t just take my word for it. The call is coming from inside the House.

None other than the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees (both Republicans in good standing) are sounding the alarm (NBC [6] – emphasis added).

GOP Rep. Mike Turner said Sunday that Russian propaganda has taken hold among some of his House Republican colleagues and is even “being uttered on the House floor.”

“We see directly coming from Russia … communications that are anti-Ukraine [7] and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” Turner, chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“There are members of Congress today who still incorrectly say that this conflict between Russia and Ukraine [8] is over NATO, which of course it is not,” he added.

Turner’s office did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for clarification about which members of Congress he was referring to.

His comments come on the heels of remarks House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul made this week about how Russian propaganda has taken root among the GOP.

McCaul, a Texas Republican, told Puck News [9] that he thinks “Russian propaganda has made its way into the United States, unfortunately, and it’s infected a good chunk of my party’s base.”

Turner may have been shy about which members were parroting Russian propaganda, but his soon-to-be-ex colleague Ken Buck wasn’t so circumspect. He flatly called Marjorie Taylor Greene “Moscow Marjorie … getting her talking points from the Kremlin” (Guardian [10]).

McCaul took aim certain media sources, or as he called them, “various conspiracy-theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda” (Washington Post [11]).

That said, neither McCaul nor Turner seemed ready (yet) to push the Speaker to shut the Kremlin caucus down. Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger had a few suggestions on The Bulwark Podcast [12]. Until they’re ready to match their warnings with actions, Ukrainians will continue to die needlessly.

Still, the American people should be aware – even Republicans admit that their party is falling under Russian influence. They need to take that into account on Election Day.