MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) bashed their fellow conservatives for swallowing disinformation from dubious sources while trashing traditional media.
The Illinois Republican took a shot at Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for spreading conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 insurrection, which Russian president Vladimir Putin also pushed, and the "Morning Joe" host lamented that those false narratives had a disorienting effect on many of his friends and relatives.
"I was watching the Putin press conference [Wednesday] and he didn't say Ashli Babbitt's name, but invoked the woman who was killed in the Jan. 6 riot and essentially parroted some of the talking points that we're seeing on our far, far right conservative media, even from some of your colleagues, like Congressman Paul Gosar -- what is going on with that?" said MSNBC's Kasie Hunt.
"Insanity," Kinzeinger said. "It's not even Paul, it's our own -- it's not the far, far right, it's just the right now, where it's saying that she was assassinated, now the new push is that the FBI actually somehow planned and assisted on Jan. 6. It's insane."
Scarborough mapped out the links between foreign influence campaigns that take advantage of conservative mistrust for the media, and showed how that corrupted U.S. politics.
"It's the circle of life," Scarborough said. "I mean, the Russians -- not just the Russians, but there are Chinese propaganda websites that are spitting this out, Falun Gong, spitting out conspiracy theories every day. I'm having to talk to family members [who say], 'We don't trust the press.' Oh, but you trust a Chinese cult? That's where you're getting your news from? And the answer is, yeah -- that's where they're getting their news from."
Kinzinger agreed that Trump had done lasting harm to the nation's political conversations, saying they're no longer based in a shared reality.
"It's been so much information peppered on these people that now you can say, FBI planned Jan. 6," Kinzinger said. "That's the new thing, you can't prove otherwise. By the time you do prove otherwise, they don't even listen to facts anyway, and this is the legacy of Trump and Trumpism. This is the legacy of blatant outright lies to people that are being abused for their raw, noble patriotism."
The wave of conspiracy theories was too massive to even knock down, Scarborough agreed.
"You knock down one conspiracy theory, they go, 'Yeah, but what about the FBI?' and you knock down another conspiracy theory, there's always a thousand conspiracy theories that the Russians, the Chinese, all of these conspiracy websites are pushing," Scarborough said, "and they would rather believe that than read the Constitution, than [check] Google and see what the Associated Press or other news outlets are saying about it."
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