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Jon Stewart had some pointed observations for Republicans and why they defend Vladimir Putin.

Transcript of Stewart on the Sway podcast with Kara Swisher:

Kara Swisher

Indeed. So one of the things that — meanwhile, the Republicans led by Donald Trump have been cheering on the other guy Vladimir Putin. Are you shocked? Surprised? Neither? You had an interesting tweet last week. You said, “For Fox News and Donald Trump, the American left and most of Europe are the evil empire.”

Jon Stewart

Yeah, I mean, I think that’s been for years. That’s not anything new. I think for years, it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal with Putin than Pelosi. I know it might be an easy and cheap thing, but Steve Bannon, that’s his strategy. He’s working with those guys — you know, their Hungary and Eastern Bloc dictators are their test kitchens in the way that McDonald’s will test a new sandwich in Columbus. They’ll test media strategies. They’ll test other stuff.

That wing of it is in league. They view Putin as a defender of Western civilization. They view him as an ideological brother.

Kara Swisher

Meaning they want to be him. That’s why they cheer him on, presumably.

Jon Stewart

I don’t know if they want to be him. But I think they see his — look, it’s an Orthodox Christian, generally homogeneous society, very conservative, unfriendly to gays and minorities like, kind of their world, isn’t it? If they were able to say what they really wanted to say — and sometimes they do say it, depending on which hour of Fox you’re watching.

Russia Is More Than A Kindred Spirit For Republicans. Putin Is Also A Template.

It is impossible to talk about the Putin/GOP relationship without mentioning how Russia has wormed itself into the Republican Party with disinformation campaigns and cold hard cash.

Steve Bannon and Paul Manafort are not unique players in the Trump campaign with Russian connections. Putin has taken advantage of holes in American campaign finance laws to get money to Republican candidates.

The Steve Bannons of the American conservative movement work with the autocrats.

Jon Stewart discussed half of the equation, but the situation goes much deeper than being a mutual admiration society. Putin fundamentally corrupted one of the two major political parties in the United States.

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