Political activist and financier Bill Browder is putting U.S. representatives and world leaders on notice for either supporting Russia, or openly accepting donations from the Vladimir Putin regime.
There is “no question” that western politicians still accept money from Russia, even after its invasion of Ukraine, he said.
Browder cited Republican Congress members Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Madison Cawthorn, as well as Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for being pro-Putin.
What Happened? In a recent conversation with independent Russian TV station “Rain,” Browder alleged that Orban and Berlusconi are cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The influence operations that the Putin regime over the last 22 years has not stopped,” he said. “There are [westerrn politicians] who still are trying to undermine any tough action — for example, you have Viktor Orban, who is clearly on [Kremlin] payroll.”
On Sept. 26, during a parliamentary meeting in Budapest, Orban lambasted the European Union (EU) for its sanctions against Russia, claiming they had the unintended consequence of raising energy prices.
Often at odds with the EU over a number of his policies that were seen as anti-democratic in Brussels, Orban advocated a ceasefire to put an end to the conflict and said that the sanctions against Russia were hurting Europe's economy.
“You have Berlusconi — I don’t know if he’s taking bribes, or he’s just an old foolish man who's supporting Putin,” Browder continued.
Berlusconi, who led four different administrations as prime minister (each one marred by scandalous extramarital affairs, bad judgment and poor decision-making) backed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, claiming Putin was forced into the fight.
Berlusconi reportedly said Russian troops were meant to replace the Ukrainian government with "decent people" and then leave.
“You have Gerhard Schröder, who is doing the same thing,” Browder said.
German lobbyist and former politician Gerhard Fritz Kurt "Gerd" Schröder presided as chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005.
Putin called Schröder 17 days after he stepped down as Germany's chancellor.
Putin was pressuring Schröder to accept a position as chair of Nord Stream's shareholder committee, the organization under Russian control responsible for constructing the first undersea gas pipeline to link Germany and Russia.
He is still the Chairman of Nord Stream AG's Shareholders' Committee.
Schröder resigned from the Rosneft board in May and declined a position on the supervisory board of Gazprom, a major player in the gas industry.
However, he has maintained close ties with the Kremlin.
“Those are the premier league western enablers,” Browder said, “but you have [politicians] at sort of the next levels down who are either quietly working on projects for the Kremlin, or waiting for their moment — I’m 100% sure this operation continues.”
“There’s even people in the U.S Congress,” he explained, “if you look at the people who voted against Finland and Sweden joining NATO — you have Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Madison Cawthorn — these are all hardcore, far-right, pro-Trump, pro-MAGA, pro-Putin members of Congress.”
He even went on to talk about U.S media pundits who are Russian sympathizers.
“You have Tucker Carlson who’s openly supporting Russia against Ukraine," Browder said of the Fox Corp. FOXA prime timer.
Why It Matters: The U.S. State Department warned U.S. embassies that Russia had secretly transferred more than $300 million to foreign political parties and candidates since 2014 in an effort to sway elections in more than two dozen countries.
More than 100 nations were informed of the U.S.'s findings, and authorities sent more in-depth material to those they believe the Kremlin targeted, including Albania, Bosnia, Madagascar and Montenegro.
And in the U.S., Putin authorized "influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbating socio-political divisions in the U.S," U.S. intelligence concluded.
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