Top Republican warns that members of his party echo Russian propaganda

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Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sunday that it was “absolutely true” that some Republican members of Congress were repeating Russian propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine. instigated by the Russian president. Vladimir Putin.

Turner did not specify which members he was referring to, but said he agreed with what House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said in an interview with Puck News last week. that russian propaganda had “infected a good portion of my party base” and suggested that the conservative media was to blame.

When asked Sunday, Turner said he agreed with McCaul’s sentiments.

“We see attempts coming directly from Russia to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even heard spoken in the House of Representatives,” Turner said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Pro-Russia messaging, Turner said, has made it harder for Ukraine supporters in the Republican Party to frame the conflict as “an authoritarian versus democracy battle.” “Ukraine needs our help and assistance now, and this is a very critical time for the United States Congress to step forward and provide that help,” Turner added.

Billions of dollars in much-needed military funding for Ukraine have been stalled in Congress for months, amid growing opposition from Republicans and particular vehemence from the GOP’s right flank. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who proposed forging a “peace treaty with Russia” instead of supporting Ukraine, has vowed to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), if you go ahead with a vote. in an aid package.

When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Washington in December to try to make a breakthrough for additional U.S. military aid, Greene said she was opposed.

green wrote in X, “Why is no one in Washington talking about a peace treaty with Russia? An agreement with Putin promising not to continue with more invasions. Answer: Washington wants war, not peace.”

US allies and NATO members are also increasingly concerned about future Russian aggression. The Washington Post reported this weekend yes donald trump wins the November elections, proposes to pressure Ukraine to cede large areas of its territory to Russia, thus expanding the reach of Putin’s dictatorship.

Still, some lawmakers are more optimistic about getting some kind of deal passed. Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), an outspoken Republican supporter of aid to Ukraine, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he believed Johnson will prioritize approving supplemental security assistance for Ukraine. , Israel and Taiwan after Congress returns Tuesday from a two-week recess.

“I think he’s fully committed to bringing it to the floor immediately” after addressing reauthorization of a controversial national security surveillance program when Congress returns to work, Hill said.

Earlier this year, the Senate approved a $95.3 billion funding package. Many senators have echoed warnings from the White House that without a new injection of weapons from the United States, Ukraine risks ceding its war to Russia.

But Johnson, amid fierce opposition from his far-right flank, has so far refused to bring the Senate package to a vote in the House of Representatives.

Hill, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, hinted Sunday that Johnson would likely introduce a version of the supplemental national security package that includes an additional provision to redirect certain frozen Russian assets toward paying for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

However, any changes to the legislation in the House would require significant additional delays in providing aid, by forcing the chambers to reconcile and approve differences. But Hill said he believed there is broad bipartisan support for the new provision, known as the REPO Act.

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