Mandela Barnes appeared on Russian propaganda channel to bash America

Mandela Barnes appeared on Russian propaganda channel to bash America

“Mandela Barnes, the Democratic Senate candidate in Wisconsin, appeared on Russian state TV several times” to bash the United States, reports the Washington Free Beacon. He also attacked the police after five police officers were killed in an anti-police ambush:

Barnes sat down for at least six interviews with RT, the Kremlin-funded network formerly known as Russia Today, while he was serving as a state representative in 2015 and 2016, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Thursday. RT was forced to register in 2017 as a foreign agent in the United States under Department of Justice guidelines. The State Department said the network ‘provide[s] disinformation and propaganda support for the Kremlin’s foreign policy objectives.'”

In another interview in 2016, after five police officers were killed during an anti-police ambush in Dallas, Barnes criticized law enforcement officers for “over-exercising their badges.”

Barnes’s opponent, Republican senator Ron Johnson, slammed the Democrat for appearing on the Russian TV network.

“Trashing American law enforcement on Russian state TV and allowing himself to be used by Vladimir Putin’s propagandists is as bad as it gets,” Alec Zimmerman, communications director for the Johnson campaign, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Lieutenant Governor Barnes knew he was being used as a puppet for a foreign dictator in a Russian disinformation scheme and he should apologize to law enforcement in Wisconsin and across America. Mandela Barnes isn’t fit to represent anyone in the United States Senate.”…

During [an] interview, Barnes described violent anti-police protests as a “human reaction when you feel that your rights have been infringed upon.”

“His decision to appeal on the Kremlin’s propaganda network was bad enough. What he said was worse,” says the National Review:

On Thursday, Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported: “Mandela Barnes did several interviews with Russian-funded TV in 2015 and 2016 denouncing U.S. police actions.”

What was Barnes thinking? Politico reported in 2015 that RT, the Russian-funded TV station where Barnes appeared, which was formerly known as Russia Today, “now acts as the tip of the Kremlin’s information warfare machine, an agglomeration that seeks to undermine both notions of journalism and faith in the workings of liberal democracy.” The Russian government deliberately sought to undermine American democracy by inflaming racial tensions when Barnes [appeared on RT].

As notes, “The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel unearthed Barnes’ 2016 RT interview and five others he gave to the Kremlin-backed network that year and the year prior. The newspaper reported in the Oct. 13 story that RT had been part of a Russian influence effort to, in the words of the New York Times in 2020, ‘push divisive racial narratives, including stories emphasizing allegations of police abuse in the United States.'”

LU Staff

LU Staff

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