An image recently popped up on social media appearing to show a Russian news show thanking several prominent Republican lawmakers for voting to lift sanctions against Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s companies last month — and according to a Snopes investigation, the assertion is true.
The Russian “news program “60 минут” (60 Minutes) aired on Channel 1 Russia on 17 January 2019” featured a graphic originally used on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show that shows the 8 Republican legislators — Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and John Thune (R-SD) — who voted against Democrats’ attempt to keep the sanctions in place.
Julia Davis, an investigative journalist and Russian media analyst, was one of the first to notice Maddow’s graphic being featured on Russian State TV. Davis shared this screenshot on Twitter along with a brief message explaining its context.
Davis wrote: “#Russia’s state TV reports that for the first time since 2014, the US is lifting sanctions from Russian companies [#Deripaska’s Rusal et al.] The host laughs out loud about the Democrats not getting enough votes to block the effort, expresses hope that this is just the beginning.”
Snopes said the host does in fact “thank” the Republican lawmakers for the “gift” they gave to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A rough translation of the video via Google shows that the host says at one point: “Thank all these people who have always been known for their irreconcilable attitude towards Russia. Thank them all, for today they voted and made big economic gift to the government of Putin.”
Snopes’ article includes video of the relevant portion of the Russian news segment, as well as the original video and transcript of Maddow’s show discussing the Republican vote, which includes the image of the lawmakers.