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What’s Behind the Latest Russian Interference Panic

State of the Union: House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner claims Russian propaganda has made it to the House floor.

House GOP Leadership Press Conference

Russian propaganda has made it to the House floor—at least, so says Representative Mike Turner.

“There are members of Congress today who still incorrectly say that this conflict between Russia and Ukraine is over NATO, which of course it is not. Vladimir Putin having made it very clear, both publicly and to his own population, that his view is that this is a conflict of a much broader claim of Russia to Eastern Europe, including claiming all of Ukrainian territories as Russian,” Turner told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “To the extent that this propaganda takes hold, it makes it more difficult for us to really see this as an authoritarian versus democracy battle, which is what it is,”


Turner’s comments are ill-informed, as this magazine has laid out time and time again. The United States’ incongruent, duplicitous diplomacy with Russia since the end of the Cold War, of which NATO expansion is at its center, has led to the current moment. Turner would have the public believe the war started in a vacuum—there was nothing until the big bang. 

What’s more, Russia has not shown the ability to go deep into western Ukraine. Of course, Turner and his ilk say that’s because the unerring Ukrainians beat the Russians back. If that is the case, then why does Turner believe a Russian military that stalled outside of Kiev would be capable of and interested in marching on Warsaw.

There is a straightforward explanation for Turner’s Sunday morning screed. The most powerful hat Turner wears in Congress is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. As Congress comes back from Easter recess, Congress will have to confront FISA Section 702 renewal. The Intelligence Committee, backed by Biden’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies, is in a war with the House Judiciary Committee, which wants to provide Americans more protections against government surveillance.

If Russian propaganda has made it to the House floor, where else might it be? Wouldn’t Mike Turner and the National Security Agency like to know.