American news programs aren’t the only ones that discuss U.S. politics.
An image purportedly showing a screenshot from a Russian state TV news program featuring eight Republican U.S. senators — Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and John Thune (R-SD) — made its way online in January 2019, along with the claim that the pictured American lawmakers were being “honored” or “thanked” for lifting sanctions against three companies controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska:
- “Russian State Television celebrating lifting of sanctions and their ownership of the GOP.”
- “Nothing to see here, just Russian state TV honoring American congress people for lifting sanctions.”
- “Congratulations to Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, John Thune and so many others … They have been recognized by official Russian TV for their service to Russia.”
- This image is a genuine screenshot from the news program “60 минут” (60 Minutes) aired on Channel 1 Russia on 17 January 2019. The graphic featuring the 8 GOP lawmakers originally appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (the MSNBC logo is visible in the bottom right hand corner of the graphic) the day prior during a segment concerning the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed on three companies controlled by oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska.
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