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Fact Checking Claims About GOP Senators Being ‘Loyal’ To Putin
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Fact Checking Claims About GOP Senators Being ‘Loyal’ To Putin

A viral post features a graphic from a 2019 episode of Rachel Maddow’s show and is presented without context.

A viral tweet claims to show a Russian TV show noting eight American politicians as being particularly “loyal” to Vladimir Putin.

All eight are Republican senators—Sens. Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, John Cornyn, Richard Burr, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, and John Thune. But the context for the image is incorrect; it is, first of all, not from a recent newscast.  The graphic depicting the senators is from a 2019 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show—the NBC logo can even be seen in the lower right hand corner—about the then-recent lifting of sanctions against Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska. Senate Democrats tried to prevent this from happening, but fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure to do so, in part because of the eight senators pictured in the image.

This segment from  Maddow’s show was discussed along with other American news coverage of the vote on a 2019 episode of 60 минут, the Russian equivalent of 60 Minutes. After the screenshot began to spread in 2019, Snopes confirmed its accuracy and found video of the Russian newscast. The eight senators were not singled out for being the “most loyal to Putin,” with the hosts thanking all 42 senators who voted against the motion to maintain sanctions.

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Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.