Ahead of Tuesday's special senate election in Alabama, a video clip of Republican candidate Roy Moore has been making the rounds on Twitter. In the clip, Moore says that the United States promotes "a lot of bad things," including same-sex marriage. When asked if this policy is Putin-esque, Moore admits that he Putin may be correct on that issue, and is "more akin to me than I know." When asked what he'd say to Putin, Moore then said "hello, how are you" in Russian.
The left gobbled this up, and began sharing the video as "proof" that Moore is "fluent" in Russian.
WATCH, SHARE, and stay until the very end where Roy Moore starts speaking Russian fluently after praising Putin.— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) December 11, 2017
Then, watch again, share again, and repeat. pic.twitter.com/r3jAoOrwOM
Ummmmmmmm.... SOOOOOO Roy Moore is fluent in RUSSIAN? https://t.co/oNHl9Qm0lz— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) December 11, 2017
America (and Alabama) I IMPLORE YOU to watch this clip below and LISTEN to alleged bumpkin @MooreSenate speak FLUENT RUSSIAN to Vladimir Putin at the end. #RoyMole— Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) December 10, 2017
This is not a joke.
cc: @CIA @FBI @NSAGov @ODNIgov https://t.co/MYRaNS3F6W
?????? Why the hell does Roy Moore speak fluent Russian?! What is going on here? I think all Alabamians - and all Americans - deserve to know exactly what Moore’s ties are to Putin and the Kremlin. One thing is certain - this is NOT “America First”!! ??https://t.co/uyCKWFJPqi— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) December 11, 2017
Alright. I'm no Moore supporter, but this is absolutely absurd. There's a perfectly benign reason as to why Moore would be able to say "hello, how are you?" in Russian. He studied it in college at West Point. In fact, immediately after saying the brief Russian phrase, Moore started laughing and said that's about the only phrase he could say to Putin.
Asked what he would say to Putin should he meet him, Moore says “hello, how are you” in Russian.
“I studied Russian at one time,” he says, laughing, “at the United States military academy at West Point. And that’s about all I could say to him.”
I also studied a language in college (French), and while I can certainly say hello and ask someone how they're doing, I am definitely the furthest thing from fluent in the language. The ability to say "hello, how are you?" in a foreign language absolutely does not mean that a person has a "tie" to the leader of a country that also speaks that language, and it's kind of amusing to watch the left suddenly become this anti-intellectual force. Since when has it been a bad thing to speak another language, especially in the view of the left? I personally have dabbled in learning Russian (what can I say, I'm a gymnastics fan)--this doesn't mean anything about my politics.
Thankfully, not everyone was swept up in this, and were quick to call people out for their exaggeration.
Fact check: this is by no means fluent. All he says is, “Hello. How are you doing?” With all the fluency of a Rosetta Stone user. https://t.co/eXHjbUJCxi— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 12, 2017
first year russian student here: extremely excited that the new metric for fluency is now just repeating generic phrases poorly— hannah gais (@hannahgais) December 12, 2017
cf the widespread description of Roy Moore in US media yesterday as "speaking fluent Russian" after he said four words, in a strongish US accent, and which, while comprehensible, were not really idiomatically correct.— Venyanamore (@venyanamore) December 12, 2017
Moore does not speak fluent Russian. The one phrase he spoke was poorly pronounced; any child beginning to learn Russian would do a better job! Being able to speak one sentence in a foreign language does not constitute fluency.— etcetera (@trumpoutbigly) December 12, 2017
There are plenty of reasons that a person would justifiably be uneasy about Moore being elected to the Senate. His ability to say a sentence in Russian is definitely not one of them.