Mother Jones reporter David Corn revealed Sunday that Russian officials have been telling state-run media that they must promote Fox host Tucker Carlson's monologues on their channels, as he has been the single biggest promoter of the Kremlin's cause on American TV.
Speaking to MSNBC's Joy Reid, Corn joined counter-intelligence expert Malcolm Nance to discuss the ways in which some right-wing pundits are promoting Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine.
"It's important to know that there's no independent media left and Russia," Corn explained. "They all skedaddled. They were shut down. You could be punished and put in prison for up to 15 years if you report that there is a war."
He told Reid that if you can use someone from the other side to make your point for you, it lends greater legitimacy to your own argument. Thus, people like Tulsi Gabbard, Carlson and Candace Owens are all part of the propaganda effort.
In fact, it was revealed Monday after a state-news editor held up a poster board saying that the war was real, that she was arrested.
"You know the interesting thing about history is every once in a while you get to see it come back," Nance said. "When I was young you would hear about Tokyo Rose, the collaborator who is making radio transmissions in Japan to delegitimize the American soldiers. Lord Haw-Haw did the same thing for the Nazis in World War II. I never thought that these people did not believe what they were saying. They always were very clear that they believed in Nazism and in the imperial Japan strategy. Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens, Tulsi Gabbard— I think somewhere along the line, they don't believe this, but they think that it's in their interest to say these things."
For Carlson specifically, Nance thinks that it's about helping Donald Trump, even if it means turning against the United States.
"So, long as it gets in the adoration he will do it," Nance said of Carlson. "I don't know if he really loves Vladimir Putin, but I have to clarify one thing. These people are not useful idiots. They are beyond useful idiots. Useful idiots don't know as a term of art in the intelligence world. They don't really know what they're doing. They're just stupid. These people are almost collaborators to a certain extent. They do know what they're doing. I would call them an asset, especially Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard. She's just a moron. But for these people to come up there, we are now seeing a turn that I never thought I'd see in my life. Fifth columnist people who are deliberately working to undermine the American structure."
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'These people are almost collaborators — an asset' www.youtube.com