There’s little question that the Republican Party has become Vladimir Putin’s biggest political ally in his war against Ukraine. Some of them sabotage or oppose military aid simply to spite President Joe Biden. Some may possibly be on Putin’s payroll. Others are isolationist, fiscally conservative, or preoccupied with fighting China. But the lead saboteur is tainted — newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson. He and his Republican caucus defeated the $95-billion foreign aid bill for Ukraine and Israel that had been passed by the Senate, then a 2018 news story re-emerged that Johnson had received campaign funds from Russians who funneled money to him and other Louisiana Republicans through a Texas-based petroleum company they controlled.

After this was discovered in 2018, Johnson’s campaign immediately returned the funds and the donors’ wrists were merely slapped by electoral officials despite the seriousness of the breach. This is pertinent, given Johnson’s role in blocking aid to Ukraine. It’s also noteworthy that one of his guilty foreign donors was Konstantin Nikolaev, a ranking member of Putin’s inner circle of oligarchs whose companies are the biggest supplier of arms and ammo to the Russian army. And while no direct links to Johnson have been proven, the odor exists. As former US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, observed recently that “blocking aid to Ukraine is giving aid to Putin”.

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Airbus did not specify the nature or duration of these permits. Canadian authorities have not commented on the situation.

The late Republican President Ronald Reagan got Russia right and dubbed it the “evil empire”, but now his party is not only “soft” on Putin but downright collaborative. On the second anniversary of Moscow’s 2022 attack on Ukraine, Kremlin broadcaster RT published an essay by Fyodor Lukyanov, an Kremlin foreign policy insider, blatantly endorsing another Republican or Trump Presidency. “If the likely Republican candidate [Trump] ultimately wins there are two possible scenarios. The first is a desperate fight in Washington, where a lot of energy will be spent on inter- and intra-party struggles. This is to Russia’s advantage, because the enemy’s attention will be diverted. The second is that Trump’s reappearance, despite all the extremely unfavorable circumstances, means the beginning of a real change in America’s international positioning – towards a narrower agenda and a more pragmatic choice of priorities, opening up new opportunities for the rest of the world.”

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He laid out the alignment succinctly. David Rothkopf, of The Daily Beast, went further and wrote: ”It is time to move beyond the political spin offered by GOP propagandists and Internet trolls and acknowledge that Trump and the MAGA movement are today active assets of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, as essential to Russia’s future global ambitions as that country’s own armed forces.” At first blush, his words appear hyperbolic, but he also itemized the worrisome actions and statements by Republican influencers that are distinctly pro-Putin:1.    The recent initiative by Republicans to impeach US President Biden is mostly based on information from a source who, it’s become revealed, is tied to Russian intelligence.

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2.    Trump’s recent statement about not funding NATO, and that he would let Putin do “whatever the hell he wants” with Europe undermines America’s alliance with Europe.

3.    The trek to Moscow by Tucker Carlson’s (an avowed Trumpie) and his fawning observations and his embarrassing “interview” with Putin revealed Republican/MAGA bias in favor of Russia. For two hours, Carlson let Putin spout a phoney version of history without asking a single difficult question about his bombing attacks on civilians and cultural institutions, the kidnapping of thousands of Ukrainian children, human rights abuses inside Russia, or the jailing of Navalny, who was just murdered in a gulag.

4.    Lastly, and tellingly, Trump has refused to mention/eulogize Navalny after he was killed.  

Other “collaborative” actions by Trump include: His public agreement with Putin at a summit in 2018 that FBI findings of Russian election meddling in 2016 were inaccurate; Trump’s attempt to get Russia reinstated in the G7 after it was kicked out for its first invasion of Ukraine in 2014; Trump’s tacit agreement that allowed Russia to expand its influence in Syria, and Trump’s description of Putin’s brutal February 24, 2022 invasion of Ukraine as “genius”.

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For the world, the question is what is behind this transmutation of the Grand Old Party, aside from the possibility of some Russian influence and possible corruption? The answer is Steve Bannon, who is chief theologian and strategist behind Trump and his MAGA movement. He remains an important influencer through his podcast “War Room” and has established the underlying tone and tenor of both Republican domestic and foreign policy. For instance in the hours before Russia actually invaded Ukraine, Bannon wrote “Putin ain’t woke” — this was a compliment in MAGA-speak that excused the tiny Russian dictator from the ultimate insult “woke” which is a blanket term for everything MAGA dislikes about the left. He added “Ukraine is a European problem, not an American problem. They [Western Europe] need to stand up” and then repeated Putin nonsense that “Ukraine’s not even a country. It’s kind of a concept…. It’s just a corrupt area…No Republican should vote for any money for Ukraine. $0 for Ukraine.”

Since then, Bannon has spread Russian disinformation by talking a lot about the imagined existence of Ukrainian labs producing dangerous  biological weapons, using US funding. “This claim, which has no basis in fact, has not been confined to Kremlin propaganda,” wrote researchers at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC. They noted that Bannon’s War Room podcast devoted five episodes to this non-story and it was downloaded 135 million times.

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Another Putin “patsy” is Tucker Carlson who amplified all this fiction on Fox TV before he was fired and now on his own podcast. Carlson has a bigger audience than Bannon and continues to serve up Putin propaganda, intolerance, historical ignorance, and a big dose of moral equivalency. For instance, Carlson equated predatory Russia with victimized Ukraine by musing: “I think we should probably take the side of Russia, if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine.”

Recently, in a mini-documentary he produced after his awful interview with Putin, he positively gushed about a Moscow supermarket and how attractive and well-stocked it was. Then a few days later, Putin actually ridiculed Carlson for not asking tough questions in the interview: “I honestly thought he would be aggressive and ask so-called sharp questions. And I wasn’t just ready for that, I wanted it, because it would have given me the opportunity to respond sharply in kind … But he chose a different tactic.”

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Fortunately, candidate Nikki Haley is an old-fashioned Republican Cold Warrior, armed with expertise in foreign policy, historical background, and international experience. On the campaign trail, she tweeted: “Putin murdered his political opponent and Trump hasn’t said a word after he said he would encourage Putin to invade our allies. He has, however, posted 20+ times on social media about his legal drama and fake polls. Putin did this. The same Putin who Donald Trump praises and defends…The Navalny assassination is something that is so startling and so blatant, and to see the former president’s comment about it just continues us on the path of: What is his connection to Russia?”

In 2020, former Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi put the same question a different way when she said “with him [Trump] all roads lead to Putin”. Some speculate the Russians have damaging material — known as kompromat — on Trump and are blackmailing him. But former Trump foreign advisor John Bolton says “he just likes these big guys who did what they wanted to do, and he wanted to be a big guy who does what he wants to do.”

Whatever the motivation and reason, America’s Republican Party has a big fat orange Russia problem, and so, therefore, does the country, Ukraine, and Europe. It’s shocking that a House leader tainted by a scandal involving a Putin warlord, is holding up military aid and now may shut down the government over a budget snafu. Unfortunately, Johnson’s GOP “bleachers” cheer all this mayhem. MAGA extremist Matt Gauer celebrated the rejection of military aid by quoting Apocalypse Now’s famous and hugely insensitive line: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” while his looney sidekick, Marjorie Taylor Greene, threatened to remove Johnson from office if he even allows a vote on Ukraine aid.

All of this is beyond gossip or politics. It’s far more serious because one of America’s two political parties is infested with persons who are openly partial to their nation-state’s arch enemy. John Bolton warned correctly. “If Trump is elected, there will be celebrations in the Kremlin… There’s no doubt about it, because Putin thinks that he is an easy mark.”

And he is.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

Reprinted from [email protected] - Diane Francis on America and the World

See the original here.  

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Comments (7)

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David
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One of the most powerful messages about human behavior, one to another is the Biblical parable of the good Samaritan. When I think about this today, I imagine the face of the priest as that of Mike Johnson and the face of the Levite as J.D Vance. Both expressing sanctimonious righteousness, but not one ounce of empathy in their hearts.

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John
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Did anyone see the news today on other networks about what putin's crony in Hungary it up to now. Having failed in derailing the latest EU support package today, he serves his masters needs spreading lies toward USA politics. He a been a useful idiot at a number of MRGA events.

So today troll orban pushes the false putin troll propaganda that only compulsively lying, cheating, criminal, dissent sowing former US 'insurrectionist in chief' putinrump can bring the USA ...the galaxy...the universe back to harmony. As putinrump has actually admitted, he will do this in dictator fashion by punishing his opponents. The "UNITED" will be lost from the CSA (Crumbling States or America). In putin fashion he will destabilize the external free world by spreading dissent, breaking allied agreements, and afford putin the opportunities needed to expand his oppressive regime.

Wake up Americans. This is not a dream. This is a lurking threat in your own home. There is nothing a criminal minded, false messiah promises that cannot be immediately stolen again once a dictator. You stand to lose the core freedoms your nation has, for a few MRGA promoted contraversial, sparkly trinket policies of insignificant national security value. Trolls don't bother spreading putinrumps false border concern...he already proved at least 3 times he does not really care.

How many rights do russians have in the so called putin "Democracy" that putinrump inspires you towards.

BizArklahomBoy
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@John, Russia is winning. Americans are winners. We like winners. You can keep your braindead butthurt Globalism.

John
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@BizArBoy, Hi troll. Well I guess if ticking off 141 UN members for breaking international laws, murdering ones peaceful neighbours, being convicted as a war criminal for stealing and brainwashing children, maliciously murdering and oppressing one's own citizens and thusly becoming the most sanctioned nation in world history is a sign of winning.... then its the kind of 'winning' the civilized world has no intent of allowing.

You seem to have no issues with murdering Ukrainians or stealing their assets.....but that is the immoral, lying, cheaters way after all. Yes you are right that putin and putinrump share the same values. I suspect as with Hitlers' mouth piece Goebel your ends will also be unpleasant.

Until then try to get out and do something productive this weekend. Your time here is wasted. In fact it achieves the opposite of what your MRGA master wishes.

Slava Ukraini!

BizArklahomBoy
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@John, it looks like you managed to hit your quota of braindead Globalist dumb-dumb talking points. Too bad you can't convert all that hot air into some sort of a weapon because Russia was never going to lose this war we started.

John
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@BizArBoy,

Impressive....using big words like "quota", "globalist", "braindead". I'm a bit shocked putin approves complementing his enemies with terms like "globalist". Its what I aspire to so thanks.

Do you have any new material? I means it's really good stuff and all, but I sense there is much more you can educate me on oh wise MRGA troll. Also longer is good. I get a kick out your longer messages....so much to unpack in each. Perhaps you can also do better than "dumb-dumb" in your name calling... just to spice it up a bit? We Ukrainian supporters will wait in anticipation.

Of course russia will lose the 3 day SMO putin he brilliantly planned for. Can't you feel the worlds' wraith growing at putin's regime. Especially as they come to understand putrids' been stealthily undermining most democracies the past few decades.

It must be an exciting time russians. To be a living part of russia's most recent era of collapse.

BizArklahomBoy
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@John, thank you for typing another long-winded reply for me to ignore. Russia is still winning, by the way. Go change your diaper.

John
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@BizArklahomBoy, You seem discombobulated.

Russia's "winning" score as of March 10, 2024 (sarcasm intended) :

Permanently dismantled Russian troops
 424,060



Russian scrap metal tanks 6731

Russian scrap metal artillery
 10466

Russian scrap metal armed-vehicles 12850

Russian scrap metal aircrafts 347



Russian scrap metal helicopters
 325

Russian scrap metal ships 26

Remember to help redirect your MRGA donations to Ukraine as they are kindly also helping free you russian trolls from putin's oppression. With some savvy rehabilitation, you may in the future even be able to hold a productive role in global society.

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Danhua Yan
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More aids means more loss on Ukraine. Peace talk is the solution.

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John
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Since Putins's tenure in Russia, all democracies have increasingly been attacked by his hybrid war. This includes cybercrime / theft, sowing domestic and allied dissent, and streaming refugees to destabilize borders. It includes propelling putinrump' and other MRGA cult members into key leadership positions.

The Ukraine the UK and the USA are the largest recipients of putins' hybrid war. Putinrumps' attempted insurrection almost lead to the the end of democracy in the USA. Putinrump openly states he favours the putin leadership model. Yet this same criminal still controls many in the Republican Party.

If instead the USA prevails in stopping putin's regime, it will find so much of the disunity, cybercrime and border crisis will fade. The best chance of thwarting putin is in supporting Ukraine.

Anyone making comments unsupportive of further Ukraine aid from the USA is either a MRG troll or someone who still fails to assimilate the facts.

American's are you worried about putinrumps' aspirations to be more like putin? Does his outrageous legal past (4091 lawsuits, 2 putin goal aligned impeachments) and lying (>30,500 times in 4 years) concern you? Does it worry you he lavishes praise on putin, while threatening over half of your own county folk and all its historic allies? What are you willing to sacrifice to get what putin promises you (assuming he is not lying).

The ball is in your court Americans.

BizArklahomBoy
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@John, the balls are in your mouth.

John
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@BizArBoy,

And so you see Ukraine supporters, the juvenile mindset and impending desperation of the vile putting regime now nearing its end. Expect more of this as the walls close in on them. They don't know what else to do, so they lash hoping to at least hurt with their words. It means nothing to those fighting the good fight. Stay the course.

You've not had much choice in shutting putin down in past decades of his mostly hybrid wars against us, but now he has opened up opportunity to legally and in good moral standing physically take out the source of such trolls funding.

The democratic allies are on the cusp of a victory over putin's regime. Push your leaders to step up their support for Ukraine. Increase you own support as possible. Stop supporting the economies of any regimes not clearly supporting Ukraine. By funneling more of your consumer expenditures back into Ukraine supporting nations it better helps them all fund Ukraine's war needs.

You will find that the hate, dissent and bullying of folks like MRGA trolls & putinrump, will all disappear when the putin regime falls and his paid network of evil intent ends.

A better world awaits.

BizArklahomBoy
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@John, Russia is still winning, and the balls are still in your mouth.

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Jack Griffin
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@John, just wondering if you finally got the balls out of your mouth?

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American Chris
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America's existential crisis is the drug cartel (China & South America) Democrats who encouraged 10 million criminals to invade USA. The first role of government is national defense which the Biden Administration has failed, and continues to fail, to do. It is the Biden Administration failure to protect American citizens that is stopping military aid to Ukraine.

Coach John
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@American Chris, Another trolling Orc-Dick. I wish upon your face the flames of a blowtorch and upon your kneecaps the working end of a power drill.

BizArklahomBoy
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@Coach John, you kiss your dad on the lips with that mouth? BE a butthurt little loser all you want--if you can't handle a difference of opinions without talking back like a little girl, put your ball gag back in.

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Polskas
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where is a mccarthy when you need one

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Mark Rockford
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The Republicans have allowed themselves to be taken over by extremists. I suspect they will suffer a crushing defeat in November. Until then, the sane Republicans need to do everything they can to neutralize the influence of the MAGAs.

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