House Republican Leaders Say GOP Base Has Bought Into ‘Russian Propaganda’

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) believe that a large chunk of the Republican Party’s base has keyed into Russian propaganda, buying into “conspiracy theory outlets” and “nighttime entertainment shows.”

In a recent interview with Puck News, McCaul sounded an alarm warning about how the Russian propaganda spreading through the United States has hit some in the GOP.

“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,” he said.

“And I have to explain to them what’s at stake, why Ukraine is in our national security interest. By the way, you don’t like Communist China? Well, guess what? They’re aligned [with Russia], along with the Ayatollah,” he added. “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.”

When asked to expatiate on his comments, McCaul explained that a lot of the propaganda comes from “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. 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,’” he added.

Turner validated McCaul’s views when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked him about it during an appearance on Sunday’s “State of the Union.”

For Turner, McCaul’s views are “absolutely true,” as he points to Russian “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. 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,” he added.

Insisting that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have identified the war between Russia and Ukraine as an “authoritarian-versus-democracy battle,” Turner called for the need to stand up for democracy.

“We need to make certain that we know that authoritarian regimes never stop when they start an aggression,” he said.