Kremlin plot? Russia critics ridiculed for claiming Moscow is behind Chelsea Manning’s Senate run

Kremlin plot? Russia critics ridiculed for claiming Moscow is behind Chelsea Manning’s Senate run
Anti-Russia conspiracy theorists have developed another outlandish claim, stating that Moscow is behind Chelsea Manning’s Senate bid, since she’s taking on an incumbent who is against so-called “Russian aggression.”

US whistleblower Chelsea Manning confirmed her bid for a Senate seat for the state of Maryland on Sunday, releasing a campaign video alongside a tweet which simply stated: “Yup, we’re running for Senate.”

Manning says she’s running because “we need someone willing to fight... we need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves.” But that reason seems too straightforward for those who apparently believe that everything related to US politics is somehow tied to Russia. 

Taking to Twitter on Saturday, foreign policy and strategy consultant Molly McKew called Manning’s decision to run “a little too convenient,” noting that she is running against Senator Ben Cardin, who is “one of [the] most active senators on foreign policy and [a] leader in making policy/legislation to respond to Russian aggression.”

In a separate tweet, she referenced Manning’s whistleblowing and the apparent motive behind it. “The agent of a foreign power coerced this individual, leveraging their emotional distress, into breaking their oath to the country and disclosing classified secrets.” 

If McKew’s remarks seem hard to comprehend, that’s perfectly understandable. If you need them to be interpreted, it all boils down to the same old line: Russia did it. That’s right. Russia is responsible for Manning’s whistleblowing, and Russia is somehow behind her decision to run for office.

Her statements were called out by Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who helped make Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing a reality. “One of the media’s favorite Russia-obsessed ‘experts’ didn’t even wait an hour before depicting Chelsea Manning’s Senate candidacy as a dastardly Kremlin plot,” he tweeted. He went on to call out the “demonstrable, obvious falsehoods about Manning’s motives & WikiLeaks’ role” which McKew wrote about in her second tweet.

But McKew isn’t alone in her bold statements. A person by the name of Josh Manning, whose Twitter account says he is a civil rights investigator and something to do with “Army intel,” seems to believe the same.

“Senator Cardin authored and released a 200-page masterpiece on Russian influence in western elections. Suddenly he has a primary from Kremlin stooge Assange’s Wikileaks primary source Chelsea Manning. The Kremlin plays the extreme left to swing elections. Remember that,” he wrote.

Greenwald also chimed in on Josh Manning’s tweet. “Oh my God: This is how deranged official Washington is. The president of the largest Dem Party think-tank (funded in part by dictators) genuinely believes Chelsea Manning’s candidacy is a Kremlin plot. Conspiracy theorists thrive more in mainstream DC than on internet fringes.”

So there you have it. Chelsea Manning is running for US Senate, and it’s all Russia's fault. Stay tuned for other US political developments and more claims on how the Kremlin is allegedly responsible for them.

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