This article was originally published by CEPA.
Moscow strongly criticized the 10 January report released by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and prepared by Democratic staffers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The document—titled “U.S. Remains Vulnerable to Russian Interference without Unequivocal Presidential Leadership, Learning Lessons from European Democracies”—details two decades of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attacks on democracy in the West and calls for policy changes to counter Kremlin influence operations ahead of the 2018 and 2020 U.S. national elections. The committee’s Republican chairman, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, did not sign off on the report, but many in the GOP agree with some of its key findings. In recent months, Republicans in Congress have been actively working on measures to counter Russian aggression and its interference in U.S. politics, including expanding sanctions.
Margarita Simonyan, chief editor of RT, dismissed the Cardin report as “a dull student report about how we assaulted democracy in all countries at once. Boring, my friends. Wake me up in five years when they find nothing and reluctantly acknowledge that there was no Russian interference.” RT’s headline labeled the Cardin report “conspiracy-laden.” In RT’s interpretation, the United States believes “Russians are everywhere, and everything they do is an existential threat to democracy and the American way of life. So says the 200-page report published by Senate Democrats on behalf of one of the most outspoken Russia hawks.” The RT article quotes a tweet from reporter Max Blumenthal of the Alternet’s Grayzone Project: “The report recommends a major defense buildup, expansion of NATO, ‘preemptive sanctions’ on new countries, and reinforcement of the war on terror apparatus to wage a new Cold War. Thanks to Russiagate, liberals will blindly support this neocon wish list.” Sputnik similarly claimed the report had lied about the outlet, as well as Russian disinformation more broadly.”Read more