House Republican Committee Chair: ‘Russian Propaganda’ Has Infiltrated Chunk Of GOP Base
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, right, and Mike Turner, R-Ohio, leave a House Republican Conference candidate forum for speaker meeting in Longworth Building on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) say that a portion of the Republican Party’s base has bought into Russian propaganda thanks to what they described as “conspiracy theory outlets” and “nighttime entertainment shows.”

In an interview last week with Puck News, McCaul said, “I think Russian propaganda has made its way into the United States, unfortunately, and it’s infected a good chunk of my party’s base.”

“And I have to explain to them what’s at stake, why Ukraine is in our national security interest,” he continued. “By the way, you don’t like Communist China? Well, guess what? They’re aligned [with Russia], along with the Ayatollah. So when you explain it that way, they kind of start understanding it. And unlike 1939, we want to provide deterrence so that we don’t have to send anyone over, and we don’t want Article V invoked. Because the next thing the Russians will do is [attack] Moldova, Georgia, and then part of the Baltics. Or at least provoke a lot. So I just think it’s preventative.”

Later in the interview, when asked to expound upon his comments, McCaul said that the source of a lot of the propaganda has been “some more nighttime entertainment shows that seem to spin, like, I see the Russian propaganda in some of it — and it’s almost identical [to what they’re saying on Russian state television] — on our airwaves.”

“They have the same problem in Europe. I mean, Russia’s been very effective at that,” he continued. “These people that read various conspiracy theory outlets that are just not accurate, and they actually model Russian propaganda. And I have to explain to them, ‘You’re actually a victim of Russian propaganda, and what you’re saying, you’re spreading Russian [propaganda].’ [And they respond,] ‘Oh, no I’m not.'”

Turner was asked about McCaul’s comments during a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, specifically if he thought McCaul was correct and if it was a big problem.

“Oh, it is absolutely true,” Turner responded. “We see directly coming from Russia attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor.”

“I mean, there are members of Congress today who still incorrectly say that this conflict between Russia and Ukraine is over NATO, which, of course, it is not, Vladimir Putin having made it very clear, both publicly and to his own population, that his view is that this is a conflict of a much broader claim of Russia to Eastern Europe, including claiming all of Ukraine territory as Russia’s,” he continued. “To the extent that this propaganda takes hold, it makes it more difficult for us to really see this as an authoritarian-versus-democracy battle, which is what it is. President Xi of China, Vladimir Putin himself have identified it as such. We need to stand up for democracy. We need to make certain that we know that authoritarian regimes never stop when they start an aggression.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Republican Committee Chair: ‘Russian Propaganda’ Has Infiltrated Chunk Of GOP Base