On Monday, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who has been frequently accused of spreading Russian propaganda, took to Twitter to double down on her fight with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), calling on him to resign.
.@MittRomney and others say that I'm treasonous because I called for a ceasefire around the 25+ biolabs in Ukraine to prevent the breach of such facilities & escape of pathogens, and prevent more pandemics. Romney should resign.pic.twitter.com/nNhmM74xo1— Tulsi Gabbard \ud83c\udf3a (@Tulsi Gabbard \ud83c\udf3a) 1647291690
Gabbard's latest salvo comes after Romney tweeted that she is "parroting false Russian propaganda" and "treasonous lies."
Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda. Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.— Mitt Romney (@Mitt Romney) 1647205153
Romney did not clarify what he was referring to, but it is widely assumed he meant Gabbard's recent interview on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show, in which she said she is "deeply concerned" about biolabs in Ukraine, and her subsequent tweets that there are "25+ US-funded biolabs in Ukraine which if breached would release & spread deadly pathogens."
The U.S. has indeed provided $200 million in support to biolabs in Ukraine since 2005, both to decontaminate dangerous biological sites operated by the Soviet Union in the country during the Cold War, and for broader public health research like the efforts surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Russian state TV has been advancing a conspiracy theory that this partnership was actually to help Ukraine construct biological weapons to use against Russia, and these propaganda campaigns have used clips from Carlson's show, including from the Gabbard interview, to try to bolster their false claims.