Kremlin

Where Things Stand: Cheney Warns Another GOPer Has Become One Of The Kremlin’s ‘Useful Idiots’
This is your TPM evening briefing.

One of the continuing ironies of the current political moment is the extent to which it is now the norm for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), despite her name, to break with her party on a number of issues, especially to critique Trumpian lines of thinking from the far-right faction.

Today she went after Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), criticizing the QAnon congresswoman for giving fresh air to the stale Kremlin talking points about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Where Things Stand: Tulsi Gabbard Has Some Thoughts About Those ‘Biolabs’ That The Kremlin Is Fixated On
This is your TPM evening briefing.

Former long-shot presidential candidate and congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is just the latest U.S. politician to seize on debunked, Kremlin-backed conspiracy theories about the supposed existence of U.S.-run bioweapon research labs in Ukraine.

But she’s the first high-profile Democrat to do so.

What started as an InfoWars talking point has been embraced by the Russian and Chinese state media and has morphed in recent days into a full blown right-wing effort to place the blame for President Putin’s deadly war on Ukraine squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. right’s usual cast of enemies, including President Biden and, of course, Anthony Fauci. Kate Riga digs into the madness here.

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Where Things Stand: Maria Butina’s Bizarre Sign-Of-Life Interview Is Riddled With Kremlin Propaganda
This is your TPM evening briefing.

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on this character.

Convicted Russian spy Maria Butina just did a bizarre and rather concerning interview with the BBC in which she argued that Ukraine is “bombing” its own civilians and pushed Kremlin talking points that President Vlodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish descendant of Holocaust survivors, is a Nazi.

The interview honestly sounds like a confused hostage video. I’ll get into the details more below. But since serving 15 months in U.S. prisons after being convicted of working as an unregistered foreign agent — for attempting to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and after admitting to helping set up a Russian backchannel for conservative strategists ahead of the 2016 election — Butina returned to Russia in 2019. And she’s a politician now — apparently a fairly successful one. Butina became a member of the Russian parliament’s lower chamber in 2021 and has batted away accusations that President Putin helped hand her the position as a “reward” for her criminal endeavors in the U.S.

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Putin declares war.
Putin Declares War Moments Before Russia Begins Airstrikes, Ground Invasion
The Russian leader said Ukraine's leadership must be changed, and that the country must be 'demilitarized' and 'denazified'
WILMINGTON, DE - AUGUST 20: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden delivers a speech as he accepts his party’s presidential nomination at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., on the final day of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. The former vice president’s highly anticipated remarks cap a very unconventional four-day virtual convention with the biggest speech of his lengthy political career. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 18: Media films a few pages of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election which was printed out by staff in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing room on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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