Former Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, called the news that the Wagner Group claims to have seized territory and military facilities in Russia a “massive blow” to people like Tucker Carlson, who have been parroting Putin’s talking points to have Prigozhin say, “Those have been lies.”


Transcript of former Rep. Kinzinger on CNN:

 Well, I think you have to start thinking through every worst-case scenario.

So obviously, Putin, out of the picture, I think, generally would be great for the world. But you think about the instability, in Russia that will inevitably come from that. Even if he’s — even if this whole supposed coup fails, there will be some instability in Russia, which has nuclear weapons. There’s concern about proliferation, if the Russian Republic falls apart, in the even more pieces.

I think, on the other hand, too, this is extremely good, for the war in Ukraine, because even if as Prigozhin is marching on Moscow, even if that fails, Wagner is out of the fight. And they were a significant part of this effort against Ukraine. Not to mention that all around the world, Wagner protects Russian interests, whether it’s in Africa, Libya and other places.

This is a massive blow to the Russian Republic, a massive blow, to their Military effort.

And I’ll also say, it’s a massive blow to the people, here, in the United States, like, say, Tucker Carlson, who have been parroting Putin talking points, to have Prigozhin, the head of Wagner himself, say, “Those have been lies.” There have been a lot of people parroting those Putin lies, and the head of Wagner even just said, those are lies.

Tucker Carlson, now fired from Fox News, has a long history of pushing Russian propaganda.

In 2022, NPR asked how an evidence-free Russian conspiracy theory that the United States was helping Ukraine develop biological weapons found its way to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” They asked: “How did the conspiracy theory find its way from the Kremlin to American conservative media?”

USA Today pointed out in the wake of Tucker’s firing that his opinions were so useful to Russia that he was not only frequently cited by them, but received job offers from Russian state-run “news” channels, noting: “He also had a soft spot for Russia, a country Carlson often mentioned during his broadcasts and on which he expressed a variety of opinions. These opinions often ended up being used for propaganda purposes by Russian state media, which may account for why the anchor appeared to receive job offers from state-run Russian news channels in the wake of his ouster. He also received praise from Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.”

Of course, it’s not just Tucker Carlson pushing Putin’s line here in the U.S.. There is almost an entire Russia caucus in the U.S. House on the Republican side and then former Democratic U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard does her part to push Russian propaganda. She left the Democratic party in 2022 and became a paid contributor on Fox News at the end of 2022.

The front-runner for the Republican Party 2024 presidential nomination Donald Trump infamously let Russians into the Oval Office for a private meeting during his presidency and his campaign worked with Russian contacts to get dirt on his opponent. Trump’s campaign also gave Russia their internal polling data.

It’s a fact that Russia helped Trump get elected in 2016, and their money has long flown through various Republican dark money groups including the NRA.

So if Putin is weakened by this as yet unclear threat to his power, or even toppled, there could be a lot of very nervous Republicans and it would most definitely be a blow to people like Tucker Carlson.

This is a developing story. We are gathering information from global officials and other authorities, war correspondents, Ukraine and Russia experts, and credible news outlets. News gathering on this story is further challenged by Russia’s hold over its media. Please understand that some of what is reported will later turn out to be wrong, but not due to a lack of effort or diligence on our part or the people reporting it. We will update as this story unfolds.


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