On Russia and The American Right Wing

The Washington Post today reports on how the American right is increasingly turning to Russia. They write:

Growing up in the 1980s, Brian Brown was taught to think of the communist Soviet Union as a dark and evil place.

But Brown, a leading opponent of same-sex marriage, said that in the past few years he has started meeting Russians at conferences on family issues and finding many kindred spirits.

Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, has visited Moscow four times in four years, including a 2013 trip during which he testified before the Duma as Russia adopted a series of anti-gay laws.

“What I realized was that there was a great change happening in the former Soviet Union,” he said. “There was a real push to re-instill Christian values in the public square.”

There’s much more at the link. (Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

  • JT

    Traitors all. The Right is for the Putin Reich.

  • Christ: what an asshole.

  • Tawreos

    Any chance Brown and his cronies could move to Russia and leave the rest of us the hell alone

    • Not enough money for his grift there, others laid claim to it long ago.

    • MaryJOGrady

      He is a Protestant. Putin’s allies in the Russian Orthodox Church are determined to be the only game in town. They have Putin’s muscle to back that up, too. Very Christian.

      • Stogiebear

        Brown is a Roman Catholic (converted from Quakerism).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_S._Brown

        • MaryJOGrady

          Still not good enough for the Orthodox Patriarch and his gang.
          (I bet the Quakers breathed a sigh of relief when they waved goodbye to Brown. How long could he have been a Quaker, or did he just snore through every single meeting he attended?)

        • MaryJOGrady

          Sorry, dear Stogiebear. My mistake. Thank you for the correction.

      • PeterC

        And very good at haveing very strict rules.

      • -M-

        Brown’s a convert to Roman Catholicism. Which to be fair has to go over better with the Russian government than remaining a Quaker would have.

    • Turtle73

      Unfortunately, the Geneva Convention prevents us from expelling them.

  • Frostbite

    Well maybe him and his family would be better off living there?

    • Silver Badger

      Absofuckinglutely.

  • Ray Muñez

    It was back in 2009 when the Post did a glowing puff piece on Brian Brown, noting how he is a real threat to gay activists because he is such a nice fellow who makes reasonable arguments. Nothing in that piece was accurate.

    • another_steve

      I heard not long ago that the Russians have an expression they use to describe fools like Brown and Donald Trump.

      In English, it translates as “useful idiots.”

      • MaryJOGrady

        I believe that phrase was coined by Lenin himself.

      • Ray Muñez

        Absolutely. That term goes all the way back to Lenin in the 1920s, but it still has currency today.

  • Michael R

    Article also references Franklin Graham

    ( who is coming to get you Barbara )

    https://s12.postimg.org/5edhgozwt/get_you_barbara.jpg

    • Tawreos

      Graham is not really like a brain dead zombie at all. Zombies didn’t have a choice in the matter.

  • another_steve

    “Let all the poison that lurks in the mud, hatch out.”

    ― Robert Graves, “I, Claudius”

  • lymis

    He was raised to think of Russians as evil threats to democracy and civilization. He grew up to be an anti-gay Christianist activist trying to subvert democracy and civilization.

    Brian, you didn’t find these people to be kindred spirits because they’re nicer than you were taught to believe. You found them to be kindred spirits because you grew up to be the same kind of dangerous asshole they are.

  • crewman

    There was a real push to re-instill Christian values in the public square.

    If he looks at what’s happening in Russia today and sees Christian values at play there, that says to me “Christian values” means harsh authoritarian rule with no dissent and no tolerance for opposing views. This is the most un-American view you could possibly take.

    • Tawreos

      But they are especially cruel to the gays so that makes it ok for Brown and his buddies

      • PeterC

        I imagine that is because it is “easy to get christians on his side”. The same tactic as is being used in the USA.

  • bambinoitaliano

    This piece of brown turd definitely played a part in bridging the fascists in Russia with the US fraction that resulted in the current stranglehold of the country political system.

  • Turtle73

    These are people who hate us and our Constitution so much, they’re willing to ally themselves with a country that has been our enemy for the last 100 years just to bring us down.

    We are utter fools if we think we have the luxury of dealing with them with kid gloves.

  • PickyPecker
  • Gustav2

    The common ground is the desire for a Christianist dictorship.

    • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

      I don’t believe Brian Brown really gives a Christian shit, he’s in it for the money.

      • Gustav2

        If you repeat a lie often enough you start to believe it.

    • Tawreos

      I think Putin only wants the dictatorship part. The christian part is how he is going to get what he wants.

    • Joe in PA

      Don’t forget WHITE, always remember WHITE.

      I have a racist neighbor who tells me that he’s good with the Russians…because they’re like us. SMFH. 🙁

      • Gustav2

        Your racist neighbor should ask some older Germans, Englishmen and Scandinavians in Pennsylvania if Slavs are “white.”

        • Joe in PA

          Pffft…history? Not with these neanderthals. They can’t remember what the ordered at WAWA last week, much less last century.

  • IAMBOWLINGGREEN

    Poisoner and murderer Putin has recently legalized wife beating and criminalized Jehova Witnesses : so much for family values and religious freedom.

    • Uncle Mark

      But that’s just a few of the things Brown realizes they share in common

    • Todd20036

      Actually, that IS family values.
      They want to have women so submissive that it’s ok to smack them down, physically, if necessary

  • Baltimatt

    Of course, Russia just banned Jehovah’s Witnesses. While they are seen by American Evangelicals as a non-Christian cult, one can wonder what religion will be banned next.

    • PeterC

      I would guess that Putin’s plan is to eventually get rid of all religion except for those who praise the “religion of Putin”.

    • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

      Hello my fellow friend how are you today? Allow me to say I am rather okay but had a depression moment since Tues last week. Just stopping by to say hi and give you a friendly fair chat and in this case a rare one. This is a rare type of chat that I give and converse about but perhaps maybe of necessity for goodness sake in spite of it being a rare thing for me to clear up and discuss. Though I am a Christian, I do not belong to nor am I actually I a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Church, I am a Christian and I belong to the Mormon church which is otherwise knows The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints or LDS for short. Despite my religion I remember the gay marriage thing I mention to you my friend and use I do feel the temptation of the Dark Side like when I felt that way toward a federal judge.

      Now with regards to these two Christian religions, I afraid that is a sad true statement my friend that they get called a non-Christian cult and they the thing here is that they are not. To be honesty with you buddy a lot people think that about Jehovah’s Witnesses in America and The LDS church because when people call it a non-Christian cult and it is not that at all, they just don’t understand. Remember that a cult can be a good or bad thing depending on what it is used for. If used for something bad my friend like satanic stuff that is one thing for example that perhaps I consider bad. Now I do you remember who Warren Jeffs was and I am sure you know who he was. Remember that he is a former president of the church perverted the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint Church even more and raped these girls. The FLDS Church still practices polygamy which we of course don’t do anymore. That was abolished many years ago in the year 1890. Referencing the 1890 Manifesto. In the case of something of how the FLDS church was used for, here is an example, I would not consider something occult unless that religion was being used for some that it is not supposed to be for. In this case it was become a cult not in a good way but a bad.

      Before I go my friend, I have to let you know that these are Christian religions, they can be difficult to understand and they are for a majority of people. Remember neither of them are non-Christian cults, they are just unique and different forms of Christianity. Now buddy I have to go because I have important stuff to attend to but I hope retirement is going fine.

      • Baltimatt

        Hi, Nighthawk. Doing well. I think a major thing for Evangelicals is that neither JW nor LDS is Trinitarian, which is a major tenet of their faith. Also, the JW Bible translation is questionable to Evangelicals, and the Mormons have their own additional scriptures.

        • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

          Baltimatt my friend allow me to put it this as I am honestly a Mormon guy, remember that just because I am Mormon does not mean I don’t feel tempted at times, despite my brushes with the dark side on how I was going about gay marriage and of course dislike it, I want to clear it up for you that despite the interpretation of scriptures on the bible yes you are correct that not Trinitarian at all. It is a difficult thing to understand. I do mean these things to you with all sincere thought. I will have to tell you more about this later.

          P.S. Mormons additional book is called the Book of Mormon. I was not afraid to talk about it with you. But while I won’t discuss exactly all of it buddy, I will tell you i was willing to discuss some of it to an extent.

          • Baltimatt

            NightHawk–

            Off the top of my head aren’t there also Doctrines and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price?

            Trinitarianism wasn’t formally established for a couple of centuries, trying to make sense out of things such as Matthew 28:16-20.

            I consider myself an unbeliever, although I grew up in Protestantism and later the Evangelical segment of it. I think you’ll find a large number of people on this board non-religious or even anti-religious, but not everyone.

          • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

            Baltimatt–

            To answer your question regarding “Off the top of my head aren’t there also Doctrines and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price?

            Yes my good friend allow me tell you that those scriptures do exist and yes we do indeed have those of course. I will confirm for you in this case regarding this particular Christian religion you were absolutely right. How was your day today as of the 5/2/2017?

          • Baltimatt

            Hi, Friend. Went through some papers today in preparation for the move as I’m trying to pack and clear stuff up. I have various medical appointments over the next three days. As my mother said years ago, “It’s a good thing we’re retired so we have time to see all our doctors.”

            I hope you are doing well.

          • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

            I’m doing okay but I have been dealing with some depression. I am making progress still. I can under this circumstance of conversation of course say to you that about the thing related to doctors, yes I will agree with you here my friend as I am also 26 year old male.

          • Baltimatt

            I’m sorry to hear you are going through some depression. I hope you can get the help you need to get through this. I am a 62-year-old male. I had to retire at the beginning of April because of the fatigue from the chemo for prostate cancer. While I’m done with chemo for now and things are looking good, we have to keep monitoring my condition. I’m getting a PET scan tomorrow to check on any progression or regression of the cancer. It’s in the lymph nodes, but so far it has not spread to bones or organs. The PSA keeps coming down.

            Take care, friend.

          • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

            You to buddy and I wrote you another good letter. check it out buddy.

          • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

            By the way my fellow pen pal friend, though I still have some depression, a majority of it got solved on the Monday after Mothers Day

          • Baltimatt

            Good to hear. I hope you can stay on an even keel.

          • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

            I would like you to understand my pen pal friend of course that I am an autistic young man and I believe you can like me as I believe I can still regardless like you as well. Despite all my challenges I have been through, I was and am willing to express that I am autistic person and do you know what autism is. I mean this to you in a kind way my good friend and would like you to remember this buddy. I would like you to remember that I will not forget the obvious strange method of how we met and I don’t want you my friend to think that just because I don’t like what the judges have done nor because of the fact that I don’t care for and hate gay marriage as with all due respect for any differences we may have on this GAY MARRIAGE and of course I CANNOT agree to everything the gays want that I don’t care for them as individuals because I do. I am trying really hard to care for these individuals but the thing here that is the problem is that sometimes they just give me this attitude as well as toward others who oppose these stuff by playing the bigotry just because they want to or not think certain things, but as I said none of that means I want to see something bad happen to them though I won’t agree with everything single thing despite trying to be compassionate.

            I wanted to also add that despite what my feelings are toward the behaviors of certain things regarding our federal government having gotten itself involved in that I have reason to suspect of overstepping their boundaries and should not have done these thing. This especially includes with regards to if not all of them but certainly a majority of the federal judges, same as the regular federal judges above not all of them but a majority of the federal appeals court judges and even some of the which was 5-4 out of the 9 justices on the SCOTUS! I don’t want you to think that just because I struggle with those dangerous dark side feelings at times that I don’t care about you or others because I do. I will tell you here these are all difficult things for me to come forward and say but I was brave enough at this time to come forward. Despite the fact I am suffering from some depression that started up last Tuesday and still am despite myself being on an effective anti-depressant that is working, losing a friend of mine last year (April 29th, 2016) to suicide I am glad to work with you anytime.

            Because of some encouragement from you and how civil you were with me and how I was mad with a federal judge despite those feeling I have had and still do toward him for his part in legalizing gay marriage by convincing me to holding myself back.
            Alright regardless of religious or NOT, I thank you for how you managed to convince me to hold myself back despite my struggles with the dark side as of all of this was difficult to come forward with my friend. I do find it quite an ironic thing that happened where I met you on line taking me two years to respond and after that later on became my friend which regardless of those circumstances I am quite proud and glad to be your friend even as a long distances pen pal. Despite the long distances and never having seen each others face, regardless, I still show gratitude to you and return the favor by being civil with you as well in addition to being your friend. Once again, I am going to tell you that as I have said many times before to you that because you were civil with me and I would be civil in return with you, and NO MATTER any of those things I am glad we could be civil, friendly as well as friends with each other. I do hope you have a good day.

            P.S. I am glad to say that there shall be no war or grudges between us two anytime nor at all. I hope you find peace in that state of New Jersey with your family.

          • Baltimatt

            Nighthawk–

            I guess passing the anniversary of your friend’s death was hard. Keep getting the help you need to stay on an even keel.

            I’ve heard of autism but am not that familiar with it. I know it affects interpersonal relationships and skills, and sometimes sensory overload cannot be handled well.

            We are just going to have to disagree on the issue of same-sex marriage. This is not the first time the federal judiciary has stepped in on states’ restrictions on marriage with the goal of expanding the rights of individuals. I don’t see how allowing a same-sex couple to marry takes away anything from those who object to it. Similarly, while I may not agree with your religion, you should be able to freely practice it as long as you are not harming others. The Mormons went through severe persecution in the early days, which is way they settled in Utah. That persecution was wrong.

            I thank you for your civility and have tried to reciprocate. Take care and best wishes as you go through your challenges.

          • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

            How are you doing my friend I hope you are having a fine Memorial Day weekend

          • Baltimatt

            Good morning, friend. I’ve completed the move from Baltimore to New Jersey. Ugh. I hate moving. My house is not ready for closing yet, so I am staying with my brother here for the time being. My son will be working for him and starts tomorrow.

            We had a nice cookout at my other brother’s yesterday. Weather was a little chilly and breezy, but otherwise it was a nice day. It seems like our conversation has split into to branches, so I hope I can keep track! 🙂

            I hope your weekend goes well.

        • NightHawk/Marriage Guardian

          Baltimatt remember I am glad to speak with you anytime. I wanted to say that despite any differences we may have religious or not I am quite proud to consider you my pen pal friend online despite a strange manner of how I met.

    • Acronym Jim

      Actually, I believe Evangelical proselytizing is illegal in Russia, though I could be wrong about that.

      BTW: Love the Ampelmann avatar.

  • Ninja0980

    Bottom line, the reason many of us won’t listen to Trump or others who feign concern over what Muslim theocrats are doing to us is because of crap like this.
    Because at the end of the day, they want to throw us in jail or throw us off rooftops just like the Islamic theocrats do and establish a theocracy just like they do, only with the Bible being used as a justification to jail and kill others who they oppose instead of the Koran.

  • Todd

    Wereis the 11 people at his last marchall Russians ??

  • Halou

    “There was a real push to re-instill Christian values in the public square.”

    Christian values such as persecuting other Christians? I’m sure he knows what Russians do to their own evangelicals, to “heretical” Orthodox Christians loyal to the Kyivan Patriarch instead of the Muscovite Patriarch, to Catholics, to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    But Chechen islamists who kill homosexuals are not a problem.

    In a way Brian is correct, similar to how most of the victims of ISIS have been other Muslims, throughout Christian history the people who have suffered most from their hatred have been other Christians.

    • Ninja0980

      Yup, Christians who actually live like Jesus did are the top targets for religious extremists.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Key word being “push.” Bullies love to push.

    • Fritz Keppler

      The Russian Orthodox Church has since Tsarist times been a supporter of the Russian government, even during periods when the Communist government was not actively persecuting it, such as during WW2 and under Khrushchov intermittently. As a result the Russian government has used the church for its own purposes, with the full approval of the church. All that matters is its own privileged position, and it doesn’t matter what happens to other faith groups, including Christian ones. Perhaps Brown will convert yet again. The veneer of Communism never penetrated very deeply, and the Soviet Union was far more Russian than Communist.

    • Eric in Oakland

      Persecuting heretics has been a Christian value since the earliest days of the Church..

  • Turtle73

    This commenter hit the nail square on the head:

    “What we know now is that many Americans do not favor a true democracy…….nor do they support freedom for all (contrary to their wild claims about cultural suppression from the left). They are fundamentally authoritarians that support a limited and rigid value system – and apparently find Vlad Putin’s autocracy to be copasetic with their own political ambitions for America. This points towards a permanently divided nation.

    People that favor the big tent of liberalism and the individual freedoms inherent in a democracy should know that we have sworn enemies of this way of life – and they were born and bred right here in the USA. And they have plenty of support in our government……and for the country, nothing but trouble ahead.”

    • another_steve

      I think that that gives the deplorables more credit than is due them.

      Something like 40 – 45 percent of American adults are simply empty vessels waiting to be filled by whichever shyster comes their way. They couldn’t tell you the difference between “democracy” and “authoritarianism” if their lives depended on it.

      Donald Trump is Shyster Supreme. Perhaps the most accomplished shyster in all of American political history.

      • Halou

        I’ve seen in history documentaries where it was said support for independence in the 1770s never got far beyond thirty percent with similar numbers who supported remaining a part of Britain. The larger part of American society at the time was not interested either way, they just wanted to live in peace and get on with their lives.

        • another_steve

          Yes, and wanting to live in peace and get on with life is a noble pursuit. Not everyone needs to be political or “involved.” What we should all strive for however is to do as little harm as possible.

          Philosophical Daoists tell us that it’s impossible to do no harm. Every action we take benefits some and harms others.

          With every breath we take, we breathe in and extinguish the lives of small, often microscopic organisms.

        • Gerry Fisher

          I hear you, and I get it. It’s ironic, though, how abdicating taking a position in order to live in peace sometimes reduces the chances of being able to live in peace.

        • Randy503

          Yup, and the same could probably have been said about the French in 1790s and the Russians in the 1910s and the Chinese in the 1950s. Most just wanted to live in peace and quiet and left politics to the fools in the capitol. They often come to regret their failure to engage and be aware.

      • -M-

        And one of the emptiest vessels.

      • JD

        Empty vessels serve their purpose. There’s a fine balance between recognizing the truth in your post and letting that somehow assuage a concern that is real. Every war requires cannon fodder and empty vessels are typically it. Doesn’t make it any easier to face their assault.

      • MonochromeMouse

        “They couldn’t tell you the difference between “democracy” and “authoritarianism” if their lives depended on it.”
        Sure they could, if they like it then it’s democracy, if they don’t like it then it’s authoritarianism.

        • Maryrmann

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          • Octoberfurst

            OMG would you STFU! Stop constantly posting your bullshit!

    • scottrose
  • Rex

    Give it time, the way things are going here, Russia will be a more christian nation than the USA.

  • CanuckDon

    One thing that empowers us is our knowledge of the insecure, weak Brian Brown. I’m certain Dan Savage is totally aware of this twerp’s flaws after inviting Brown and his wife to dine at his home. With eight mouths to feed and his “career” failure as the one to stop marriage equality, this flabby coward runs to the Russians for help.

  • Halou

    Is he registering as a foreign agent as well?

  • The “Christian values” that Brown is so fond of, along with others of his ilk, are nothing more than authoritarianism, which has been a defining characteristic of Russian government going back to Ivan the Terrible. The problem with the Soviet Union was not that it was a dictatorship, but that it was ostensibly a communist dictatorship. Take away the collectivist window dressing (and it was little more than that), and you have Putin’s Russia: it’s no wonder that Russia is the new hope for the American right — I’m not the only one in this thread to note that the American right really does not like the American system of government.

  • Boy Elvis

    I can easily imagine Brownie saying stuff to the Russians like, “You mean you guys are bigoted fascist control freaks? Me too!!!

  • caphillprof

    This is all one needs to know about “Christian values”

  • TexasBoy

    Can the IRS pull NOMs tax exempt status now? He is basically a foreign agent.

    • StevenMN

      Foreign Agent? How about Treason? He was also actively advocating for Russian to undercut The US’s stand on equality for gay rights.

  • grada3784

    Pogroms? Good Christian values.

  • greenmanTN

    Just when you think Brian Brown couldn’t be any more vile…

  • BobRo

    It is amazing that this story made it to the front page. Where is the story about the Chechen persecution of Gay men?

  • Silver Badger

    “Growing up in the 1980s, Brian Brown was taught to think of the communist Soviet Union as a dark and evil place.” It still is a dark and evil place. The difference is that Brian is a dark and evil person now and finds much in common with Russia.

    • BobSF_94117

      Yes, but now it’s a dark and evil klepto-capitalist place. And those are just dandy.

  • sword

    Politics is circular…the extreme right wing cannot be distinguished from the extreme left wing. American right wingers feel comfortable with Russian Oligarchs, who are no more than old Communist commissars.

    • Ben in Oakland

      Fascism is fascism. It doesn’t matter what dress it’s wearing.

  • Acronym Jim

    I was going to suggest that Brian Brown might have a reassessment of his feelings toward the LGBT community if he would only meet with them and their families in a civil space like he did with the Russians, but then I remember Dan Savage already tried that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG804t0WG-c

    • Baltimatt

      I remember when Brian said something like “You can’t ban something you don’t like.” Really??????

  • goofy_joe

    Once again from the American Taliban. I see no difference between Brian Brown and his followers and the radical extremists who want religious rule.

  • Jamie_Johnson

    Brian’s intent is easy to understand: follow the money.

  • Richard B

    Does anyone see Brian Brown’s influence growing?
    I don’t, he just seems to chime into the national rhetoric as a hanger on who is obsessively looking to grift money, even Russian money.
    If Brian Brown hadn’t got the International Organization for the Family gig, funded by a few prominent conservatives from Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Nigeria, his NOM grift would have been out of money, ….
    At best today, Brian Brown is an annoying little festering boil on the asshole of creation that we simply tolerate or if bothersome enough, is lanced to be done with him.

  • BlindBill

    So Brian Brown is laundering cash for Russia also … big surprise

    • -M-

      More importantly, laundering ideas, ideology, discrimination, divisiveness …

  • Ben in Oakland

    It’s a real push to reinstill fascism and a state religion in Russia, using gay people as the excuse.

  • JWC

    Gee mr Brown will Mr Putin be willing tyo give you Rubles for your asshole plans

  • MonochromeMouse

    Them hates what I hates, just because they was dimmiecrats in the 80s don’t mean thems ain’t good people now.

  • netxtown

    I believe Bri-bri has been compromised and now works for the Russians under the guise of being a xtian activist. He needs some interrogation….gitmo….etc.

  • RidingTheLine

    The religious right have sold out America to be Putin’s puppets. They are traitors to America. The Tali-baptists are a far greater threat to America than the Taliban ever was.

  • Tor

    Of course, Brian, Russians are great; they hate all the same people you hate.

  • Librarykid

    From Today’s Washington Post Daily 202:

    How Russians are forging ties with gun rights advocates and other U.S. conservatives

    President Trump’s warm rhetoric toward Russia
    on the campaign trail is just one instance of a softening stance toward
    Russia among some U.S. conservatives. The Post examined the
    relationship between gun rights advocates and religious conservatives in
    the U.S., and their counterparts in Russia.

    (Bastien Inzaurralde, Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

    THE NEW WORLD ORDER:

    — If you read just one story today –> “How the Republican right found allies in Russia,” by Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger:
    “Growing up in the 1980s, Brian Brown was taught to think of the
    communist Soviet Union as a dark and evil place. But Brown, a leading
    anti-same-sex-marriage activist, said that in the past few years he has
    started … finding many kindred spirits. Brown, president of the National
    Organization for Marriage, has visited Moscow four times in four years,
    including a 2013 trip during which he testified before the Duma as
    Russia adopted a series of anti-gay laws. ‘What I realized was that
    there was a great change happening in the former Soviet Union,’ he said.
    ‘There was a real push to re-instill Christian values in the public
    square.’ On issues including gun rights, terrorism and same-sex marriage, many
    leading advocates on the right who grew frustrated with their country’s
    leftward tilt under [Obama] have forged ties with well-connected
    Russians and come to see [Vladimir Putin] as a potential ally.”

    Top officials from the National Rifle Association, whose annual meeting
    Friday featured an address by Trump for the third time in three years,
    traveled to Moscow to visit a Russian gun manufacturer and meet
    government officials.

    About the same time in December 2015,
    evangelist Franklin Graham met privately with Putin for 45 minutes,
    securing from the Russian president an offer to help with an upcoming
    conference on the persecution of Christians.

    Key quote from Steven L. Hall, who retired from the CIA in 2015 after managing Russia operations for 30 years: “Is
    it possible that these are just well-meaning people who are reaching
    out to Americans with shared interests? It is possible. Is it likely? I
    don’t think it’s likely at all. . . . My assessment is that it’s
    definitely part of something bigger.”

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  • Bert_Bauer

    I have said for years that conservatives never really thought of Russia as the “evil empire” – they’ve always thought of it as a “role model.”

  • James

    “Growing up in the 1980s”??? I thought Brian Brown was at least in his 50s.