On Saturday, The Daily Beast reported that Russian officials are openly gloating about how Republican lawmakers are using Kremlin talking points to defend President Donald Trump from impeachment over the Ukraine scandal.
“As Russia’s state media watch impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald J. Trump they’re loving what they see,” wrote Julia Davis for the Beast. “They don’t think the man they brag about getting elected is in much danger. They listen in delight as Republicans parrot conspiracy theories first launched by Russians. And they gloat about the way Trump removed U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, because they blame her for promoting democratic ‘color revolutions’ that weakened Moscow’s hold on the former Soviet empire. Best of all, from the Kremlin’s point of view, they see Trump pushing Ukraine back into the Russian fold.”
“The ongoing impeachment inquiry is a twofold gift for the Kremlin,” wrote Davis. “On the one hand, President Trump and the Republican Party are doing Putin’s work by assailing U.S. intelligence agencies, career diplomats and institutions. On the other hand, the impeachment inquiry revealed an unprecedented rift between the United States and Ukraine—America’s strategic partner that enjoyed decades of strong bipartisan support.”
And, Davis noted, they are openly saying this on 60 Minutes, the state-sponsored Russian news program.
“Using the treasure trove of documents released during the impeachment inquiry, Russia’s master propagandists are weaponizing the information to demoralize the Ukrainians,” wrote Davis. “State TV hosts, experts and talking heads are browbeating visiting Ukrainian guests and audiences by painting a picture where the West is merely using Ukraine for its own ends — predicting Trump will soon abandon the country just as he did America’s Kurdish allies in Syria. There is a common thread permeating the Russian media blitz: Ukraine is all alone and has nowhere left to turn, except to Russia.”
“‘Everyone is laughing at you,’ scoffed Skabeeva, addressing a Ukrainian panelist on 60 Minutes. Maksim Yusin, the editor of international politics at the leading Russian business daily Kommersant exclaimed, ‘Ukraine is toxic, everyone will want to avoid it now,'” wrote Davis. Meanwhile, “When Ukrainian panelist Alexander Goncharov said that his country is relying on the support of Republicans, the hosts and other panelists broke out in uproarious laughter. ‘Listen to Rand Paul,’ said the co-host of 60 Minutes, playing the clip of the Kentucky senator bluntly stating: ‘I wouldn’t give them anything.'”
“The Kremlin is poised to reap more rewards from the presidency of Donald Trump — and suddenly, Ukraine seems to be within reach,” warned Davis.
You can read more here.