How the American Right Came to Love Putin

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s requests for more aid from the United States got a frosty reception from many Republicans on the Hill this week. It’s the most recent expression of the American far right’s affinity for Vladimir Putin’s project in Russia and, more recently, for Viktor Orbán’s consolidation of power in Hungary. The New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz joins the Washington Roundtable to discuss his reporting on CPAC Hungary, where far-right political figures gathered in Budapest last year, and on why American conservatives are gravitating toward figures like Putin and Orbán. “You don’t have to be a red-string-on-a-corkboard conspiracy theorist to see the connections,” Marantz says. “In Florida, for example, Ron DeSantis’s administration has admitted when they wrote the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, they were modelling it on a previous Hungarian law, which was itself modelled on a previous Russian law. So, no one’s really entirely hiding the ball here.” Marantz joins the staff writers Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos on this week’s episode.

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