During an appearance on MSNBC this week, ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, whose public profile considerably grew in connection to his revelations of the truth about an infamous phone conversation between then-President Trump and the Ukrainian president, discussed certain issues in the U.S that he identified as essentially enabling Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian authorities have been seemingly preparing to attack Ukraine, and according to Vindman, the “hyper-polarization that Trump continues to nourish in the United States helps.” That hyper-polarization is represented, Vindman observed, by the January 6 attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, the vitriol on Fox News, and more.
Treasury: "Russia has directed its intelligence services to recruit current and former Ukrainian government officials to prepare to take over the government of Ukraine and to control Ukraine’s critical infrastructure with an occupying Russian force." https://t.co/7sWeuFEyLi
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 20, 2022
As reported by Yahoo, Vindman explained the timing of Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine as follows:
‘It’s mainly because of a sense of opportunity, a sense of weakness within the United States. I have every reason to believe that if we had not had an insurrection on January 6, because of President Trump, President Putin would not believe that there’s an opportunity, there’s a vulnerability in the United States. The hyper-polarization that Trump continues to nourish in the United States helps… [Putin] has major talking heads on Fox News, like Tucker Carlson, pandering to his interests, drawing false equivalencies between the U.S. and Russia. Really kind of fanboying over authoritarianism.’
I received a briefing this morning from @DeptofDefense on the situation in Ukraine and, without going into the classified details, I’ll just say this: it was disturbing. 1/6
— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) January 20, 2022
It’s not an exaggeration — Carlson, whose comments are consistently broadcast across the nation, recently explicitly excused Russia’s stance towards Ukraine. As Carlson put it, “Imagine if Mexico fell under the direct control of China. We would see that as a threat. There would be no reason for that. That’s how Russia views NATO control of Ukraine… and why wouldn’t they?” Ukraine has sought membership in NATO, but it’s not yet obtained it. In the event that NATO does bring on Ukraine as a member, the alliance doesn’t actually “control” its members. The lack of a reasonable foundation for Carlson’s arguments doesn’t change the fact, however, that this sort of nonsense is nationally broadcast. Carlson has also promoted Hungary’s authoritarian leader Viktor Orbán, helping turn acceptance of authoritarianism into a matter of debate — weakening, in theory, the U.S. resolve against dictatorships elsewhere.
Programming Alert: Next week we return to Hungary for
important reporting. Get ready!
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) January 19, 2022
It’s not meaningless that Trump repeatedly capitulated to Putin’s interests to the point of pushing for his re-admission to the G7 group of world leaders, from which he’d been removed (when it was the G8) specifically because of Russian aggression towards Ukraine. Somehow, whether or not democracy should be the way to go no longer seems to be a given in the thinking of Republicans — as also, of course, indicated by the fact that rejecting the duly documented democratic process in this country has become somewhat of a purity test for Republicans faced with Trump’s lies about the last election.
Tucker Carlson being continuously praised by the Kremlin-funded state media is really all you need to know about him. pic.twitter.com/4Nzj1fgLNG
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) January 20, 2022