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Pelosi faces criticism for suggesting that some pro-Palestinian protesters are linked to Russia

Pelosi faces criticism for suggesting that some pro-Palestinian protesters are linked to Russia

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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters on January 27, 2023, in Washington, D.C.



CNN

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism after suggesting that some pro-Palestinian protesters are “linked to Russia.”

“We have to think about what we're doing, and what we've got to do is try to stop the suffering in Gaza… But their call for a ceasefire is Mr. Putin's message,” she said Sunday on CNN's “State of the Situation” program. Union,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Make no mistake, this is directly related to what he wants to see.”

These comments come as pro-Palestinian demonstrators demand a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Constantly interrupted Events for President Joe Biden as well as Pelosi's recent event in Seattle.

“I think… some of these protesters are spontaneous, organic and sincere,” Pelosi said. I think some are linked to Russia. And I say that having looked at this for a long time now, you know.

Biden's problems in Gaza go deeper than just publicly boycotting him

When asked if she thought some of the pro-Palestinian protests were Russian plants, the California Democrat replied: “I don’t think they are plants.”

“I think some of the funding should be investigated, and I want to ask the FBI to investigate that,” Pelosi said.

It quickly received criticism from Council on American-Islamic Relations President Nihad Awad, who said the organization was “deeply disturbed” and called Pelosi’s suggestion that the FBI investigate protesters “completely authoritarian.”

“We are deeply troubled by former Speaker Pelosi's comments. Awad said in a statement that Representative Pelosi's claim that some Americans protesting for a ceasefire in Gaza are working with Vladimir Putin appears bogus, and her call for the FBI to investigate these protesters without any evidence is completely tyrannical.

“Her comments once again demonstrate the negative impact of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people at the hands of those who support Israeli apartheid. “Instead of baselessly smearing these Americans as Russian collaborators, former Speaker of the House Pelosi and other political leaders should Respect the will of the American people by calling for an end to the genocidal war that the Netanyahu government is waging against the people of Gaza.”

A spokesman for Pelosi told CNN that the former House speaker “supported and defended” the right to peaceful protest, but was acknowledging a history of foreign adversaries interfering in American politics to influence elections.

“Speaker Pelosi has long supported and defended the right of all Americans to express their opinions through peaceful protest,” the spokesperson said. “After three decades serving on the House Intelligence Committee, Speaker Pelosi is acutely aware of how foreign adversaries interfere in American politics to implant Division and impact on our elections, and she wants to see further investigation before the 2024 election.”

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There is no evidence that Russia is connected to the pro-Palestinian protests, but Russia and Russian-sponsored entities are known to interfere in US politics with the aim of sowing discord and influencing election results.

a The report was issued The US intelligence community in March 2021 detailed how the Russian government interfered in the 2020 election with an influence campaign that “discredited” Biden and “supported” former President Donald Trump, citing a massive disinformation campaign.

Russian troll farms like the Internet Research Agency it is known that To use social media to spread misinformation and encourage division in American politics by exploiting issues such as vaccine and mask mandates.

CNN's Avery Lutz, Hailey Talbot and Diane Gallagher contributed to this report.