Another Republican Lawmaker Warns the GOP is Corrupted by Russian Propaganda

By: Alex Trent | Published: Apr 09, 2024

Republican Mike Turner, a House Intelligence Committee Chair, made comments to CNN on Sunday calling out what he sees as pro-Russia propaganda messages in his own party being said on the House Floor.

His comments echo previous remarks by Republican House Foreign Affairs chair Michael McCaul, who last week said that Russian propaganda had “infected the GOP base.”

Turner’s Comments

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on his show “State of the Union”, Turner talked about opinions he has witnessed said by colleagues that he says come straight from Russia.

An official photograph of Mike Turner for the House of Representatives.

Source: US House of Representatives/Wikimedia

“It is absolutely true 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,” Turner said.


Propaganda Claims

In the interview, Turner specifically mentions some of the claims that he is hearing members of his own party repeat, which he asserts are propaganda lines from Russia.

A view of the Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow.

U.S. Department of State/Wikimedia Commons

“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,” said Turner.

Authoritarian Battle

Turner views himself and the Republican party in a propaganda battle, which he feels is reframing the narrative and preventing his colleagues from seeing the truth of what is going on.

The logo for the Republican Party in the United States.

Source: Republican Party/Wikimedia

“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,” Turner said.

Advocating For Ukraine

Turner has been a staunch advocate of providing US aid to Ukraine, which is currently struggling in their war against Russia. He sees a “chaos caucus” of Republican actors standing in the way of helping the Ukraine.

A shot of Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev, Ukraine.

Source:Juan Antonio Segal/Wikimedia

In February the US Senate passed a $95.3 billion foreign aid bill meant for both Ukraine and Israel. However, Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene threatened to remove the House speaker in protest, which caused a delay in securing a vote for the aid package.

Greene Working to Stop Ukraine Aid

Representative Greene from Georgia intends to keep up the pressure on Speaker Mike Johnson as he intends to bring forward a proposal on an aid package this week.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is on stage wearing a black jacket and purple top. She has her hands clasped in front of her

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“I’m not saying I have a red line or a trigger, and I’m not saying I don’t have a red line or trigger,” Greene said. “But I’m going to tell you right now: funding Ukraine is probably one of the most egregious things that he can do.”


McCaul’s Comments

House Republican Representative from Texas Michael McCaul told Puck News just last week that he is wary of Russian propaganda infiltrating the United States and how it is influencing Republican voters.

A photograph of congressman Michael McCaul.

Source: Ed Schipul/Wikimedia

“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,” McCaul, said.


Republicans Split on Ukraine

When the recent Ukraine war broke out in 2022, many Republicans rushed to condemn Vladimir Putin for his actions, labeling him as a dictator.

NATO troops in Ukraine performing military drills.

Source: UkroLiberator/Wikimedia

However, as the war continued on and the US began sending aid packages, some Republican politicians and voters started to voice discontent. This discontent culminated was noticeable in November and December of last year when polls showed that over half of Republicans now opposed aid to Ukraine.


Partisan Issue

As these things often do, the question of whether or not to send more aid to Ukraine has started to become a political issue divided among party lines.

The logos of Republicans and Democrats against a black background.

Source: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

PBS reported in February that US adult Democrats are more likely to feel the US is spending too little on aid, but Republicans feel like the spending is too much.


America’s Needs First

Republican opponents of sending aid to Ukraine think that the United States government should be doing more for its citizens at home first.

An American flag stuck in a grassy field in the daytime.

Source: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

This attitude has become increasingly common in the Trump era of Republican politics, where putting America first is a mantra found everywhere. Adherents of this philosophy want America to withdraw inward, letting the world sort itself out without help from the United States.


Humanitarian Concerns

Chloe Henniger, a Democrat from Connecticut felt that the US is spending too little on Ukraine, citing humanitarian concerns as her reason for supporting aid.

A shot of the Ukraine flag glowing amidst a low-light background.

Source: Max Kukurudziak/Unsplash

“From a humanitarian point of view, there were sovereign borders agreed upon internationally. And then an autocratic power went and invaded a sovereign territory. The U.S., as one of the major military forces in the world, sort of has a duty to respond,” said Henninger,


Russian Propaganda

Supporters of sending aid to Ukraine will sometimes accuse opponents of falling for Russian propaganda, seeing Russian President Vladimir Putin as an authoritarian dictator that the US must stop to protect democracy in the world.

A close-up portrait of Vladimir Putin.

Source: Commons

The Washington Post recently reported that Russian “trolls” hope to exploit this division to decrease support for Ukraine, citing documents from the Kremlin.