Should we be worried about candidates accepting donations from ‘Russophiles’?

An odd turn of affairs: The RNC touted a Daily Beast story that reported “Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is being underwritten by some of the nation’s leading Russophiles.” Not donations from Russians, mind you, but a couple thousand dollars in donations from Americans with publicly stated views that are more or less in line with those of Vladmir Putin’s regime.

Whether or not Gabbard considers herself a friend to Russia, Russian-backed media sees a potential friend in her. Earlier this year, NBC News found “at least 20 Gabbard stories on three major Moscow-based English-language websites affiliated with or supportive of the Russian government: RT, the Russian-owned TV outlet; Sputnik News, a radio outlet; and Russia Insider, a blog that experts say closely follows the Kremlin line.” On the other hand, Russia is pretty widely loathed in the Democratic party right now, so it’s not surprising that RT and like-minded outlets would be eager to spotlight a Democratic lawmaker who isn’t denouncing Putin and the Russian government.

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