Whiplash as Russia Toasts Derided Marjorie Taylor Greene as Their Top New Hero

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty

In recent years, clips from Tucker Carlson’s shows were prominently featured on many Russian state TV shows, with hosts and guests clinging to his every word and even surmising he might be the only American they don’t want to kill.

After Carlson’s flat-footed interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by caustic comments from both the host and the subject, the bloom was off the rose.

Similarly, Mike Johnson’s arrival as the 56th Speaker of the House was cheered on state TV with the anticipation that—at Trump’s request—he would block U.S. aid to Ukraine. For months, Johnson did just that, prompting state TV host Olga Skabeeva to describe him as “our Johnson.” His recent reversal of this stance prompted Russian propagandists to debate whether he was “bought” or simply “bent over” by the Democrats.

Now, Russia’s former favorites have been edged out by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene—the new darling of the Kremlin-controlled state television. In the past, Greene was routinely mocked for her uneducated statements and used as a prime example of how stupid all Americans are, which is a popular refrain in Russian media. After laughing at Greene for confusing gazpacho with the Nazi Gestapo and claiming that California wildfires have been caused by “Jewish space lasers,” leading propagandists described her antics as evidence of the “mental debilitation” of Western politicians.

But the mood changed once Greene started to say things that the Russian propaganda apparatus found extremely useful. Her Tweets that labeled NATO as a useless organization and demanded the U.S. withdraw from the alliance it is currently leading were featured on state TV and described as “sensational.” Greene’s rhetoric has been interpreted by state TV host Evgeny Popov to mean that “She believes that Americans should help Putin win. Yes, you heard that right. To help him win in Ukraine.”

Greene’s baseless claims that the U.S. is “supporting Nazis in Ukraine” were likewise lauded by state TV propagandists and showcased on multiple channels. Previous mockery did not deter the state-controlled media from gladly using Greene’s misleading statements to their advantage. The U.S. congresswoman was starting to become a long-distance darling for the Moscow crowd, prominently featured on state television and adored to the point that the Kremlin’s favorite propagandist Vladimir Solovyov proclaimed, “Thank goodness she exists.”

The importance of influential Westerners repeating the Russian talking points is constantly underscored by the head of RT, Margarita Simonyan—who admits that her state-controlled network is running covert operations in the United States and other countries. She described RT’s efforts as the “empire of covert projects that is working with public opinion.”

Greene is now routinely showcased on the most popular programs as a prime example that the cracks in the GOP support for Ukraine are “good signals from Washington.” Solovyov and the guests on his show even touted Marjorie as a possible replacement for Russia’s perennial favorite, Donald Trump, as the next U.S. president—while acknowledging that the congresswoman is “somewhat funny.”

Greene’s latest hijinks have firmly cemented her status as one of Moscow’s most useful tools. Leading propagandists lauded her efforts to threaten Mike Johnson’s speakership for his belated decision to allow a vote on the life-saving U.S. aid to Ukraine. They similarly rejoiced over a flurry of amendments to the Ukraine aid bill Greene filed with the House Rules Committee, including one to require any member who votes in favor of the package “to conscript in the Ukrainian military.”

Greene filed more than 20 amendments to the bill and most of them sound as though they have been handcrafted by Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. Some of them demand that Ukraine close all its bio-laboratories, to prove that “Christian churches in Ukraine are able to operate free from government interference” and bar funding until “restrictions on Hungarians in Transcarpathia” and other minorities are lifted.

In light of Greene’s own prior statements, one might imagine that the plight of Hungarians in Transcarpathia is not something she would organically discover or take any interest in. Perhaps coincidentally, the same narratives are being actively promoted by the Russian media.

During Thursday’s broadcast of The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, expert on America Dmitry Drobnitsky urged everyone to stop focusing on Mike Johnson and instead pay attention to Greene. He said, “The issue is not with Johnson. Speaker Johnson is not the one who is running Congress. Marjorie Taylor Greene is running Congress! It’s all about those to whom she is willing to give the money. Everyone is afraid of her! She is everywhere, on every Committee, involved in all impeachments... This is a curious phenomenon in the camp of our real enemy. These are the kinds of people they have working in their Congress.”

Florida Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz offered his own amendment that would appoint Greene “as Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy to the United States Congress.” The Russians seem to agree.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.