Kinzinger calls out Gabbard for Russian misinformation
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) called out former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) on Sunday for “actual Russian propaganda” after the ex-congresswoman tweeted a video claiming that the U.S. is funding more than 25 biolabs in Ukraine that are “conducting research on dangerous pathogens.”
“Actual Russian propaganda. Traitorous. Russia also said the Luger center in Georgia was making zombies. Tulsi should go to Russia,” Kinzinger wrote in a retweet of the video Gabbard published earlier that day.
Gabbard tweeted a nearly two-minute video on Sunday laying out “the undeniable fact” that the U.S. funds between 25 and 30 biolabs in Ukraine that are “conducting research on dangerous pathogens.”
The New York Times conducted a fact check on Friday that said the theory that the U.S. is funding biological weapons labs in Ukraine is “baseless.”
“There is no evidence to support the claims, which President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have all unequivocally denied,” the Times wrote, noting that the theory has been promoted by Russian state media, social media users and conservative voices.
The newspaper wrote that the U.S. has given backing to biological labs in Ukraine since 2005 “to prevent the production of biological weapons,” adding that some individuals have “misleadingly cited remarks from American officials as proof that the labs are producing or conducting research on biological weapons.”
Kinzinger is not the only lawmaker to blast Gabbard, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in a tweet on Sunday accused Gabbard of “parroting false Russian propaganda,” adding, “Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.”
The Utah Republican did not specify what comments from Gabbard he was responding to, though it is likely he was referencing her claims regarding U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
The back-and-forth between Romney and Gabbard comes as the U.S. and Ukrainian officials are bracing for Russia’s potential use of chemical weapons in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The Pentagon on Sunday, however, said the U.S. has not perceived signs of an “imminent chemical or biological attack right now” in Ukraine.