Russian state media — and Kremlin-backed trolls — are helping to push Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination the U.S. Supreme Court as part of a broader effort to undermine American democracy.
Julia Davis, a Russian media watchdog, published a column for The Daily Beast that tracked how the country’s state-run media is amplifying President Donald Trump’s defense of his embattled judicial nominee.
“Guess what stands in Kavanaugh’s way?” said Kremlin propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov. “Certainly, the disease of malignant feminism … used to destroy promising careers and eliminate political opponents.”
Vitaly Milonov, a Russian lawmaker allied with president Vladimir Putin, called for the imprisonment of feminists — who he called “monkey” and “witches.”
Hamilton 68, a website that tracks Russian influence operations on social media, found a high level of activity by Twitter bots backing Kavanaugh and amplifying the GOP defense.
The operation even seemed to influence Trump, who claimed in a Friday morning tweet that anti-Kavanaugh protesters had been paid by billionaire financier George Soros.
That conspiracy theory was previously advanced by the state-run RT network, Davis said.
The Kremlin’s support for Kavanaugh is intended to highlight divisions in American politics, according to Davis and other experts.
All this is part of a broader picture in which the Kremlin continues to differentiate between Trump and the American government.
“Russia is not ‘Republican,'” tweeted former FBI agent Asha Rangappa. “It has the highest abortion rate in the world…do you think they give a damn about overturning Roe v. Wade??”
“They are pro-Kavanaugh bc they know he will divide U.S. and undermine Americans’ faith in the most revered legal institution in the country,” she added.
Kavanaugh is one of the most deeply unpopular Supreme Court nominees in history, and Democrats are furious at Republican efforts to ram his nomination through the Senate.
“Russian state media is supporting Trump’s Kavanaugh nomination both in its domestic publications, as well as those aimed at the English-speaking audiences,” Davis said. “All this is part of a broader picture in which the Kremlin continues to differentiate between Trump and the American government.”