Far-right Fox host Maria Bartiromo has repeatedly used her platform to air conspiracy theories.
She's currently facing a defamation lawsuit from election software company Smartmatic, after echoing delusions that these machines switched Trump votes to Biden votes, a further promotion of the debunked claim that the 2020 election was "stolen" from former President Donald Trump. In the wake of the deadly failed insurrection against the U.S. Capitol, mounted by a mob of pro-Trump extremists, Bartiromo baselessly claimed that "antifa" was dressing up as Trump supporters in order to discredit then-President Trump, who'd already lost the 2020 election.
But Bartiromo's fantasies expand beyond the 2020 election. Most recently, she's been airing outright disinformation regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin's violent invasion of Ukraine. In the days ahead of the invasion, Bartiromo suggested the increased tensions between Russian and Ukraine were orchestrated by Democrats to distract from a so-called scandal regarding Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Now, citing "some people," Bartiromo claims the Biden administration sees Putin not as an enemy, but as an ally.
"It seems that there is a pre-determined outcome here in place, and that is a slow death for Ukraine and [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy as the Russian forces continue to inch closer with all of these other fatalities that we're talking about.
And some people have told me over the weekend that they feel that at the end of the day, this administration does not see Putin as the enemy, they see him as a partner on many issues. They see him as a partner on climate change, they see him as a partner on the Iran deal. When is this administration going to get serious in telling Vladimir Putin we are done with partnerships?"
In reality, President Joe Biden has not only levied some of the harshest sanctions in American history targeting the Russian government, Russian financial institutions, the Russian oil market, and Russian oligarchs, but he's also played a key role in talks with European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries to do the same.
Meanwhile, former President Trump—whom Bartiromo supports—has praised Putin's strategy as "smart" and "genius." This is after Trump repeatedly defended Putin throughout his tenure in the White House.
It's true that Russia is one of the world powers involved in negotiations to revive a version of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, but the U.S. has taken Russia's use of any Ukraine-related sanctions as leverage off the table and has begun exploring alternatives to pursue the delicate talks without Russia as a signatory if the nation doesn't back down. Nevertheless, Russia's continued role in multilateral negotiations on the deal can no more be described as a "partnership" than, say, Trump's attempts to directly negotiate with the Taliban in bilateral talks on American soil (negotiations that Bartiromo helped defend).
Social media users were astounded at Bartiromo's sketchy characterization
Bartiromo was once considered a reputable business journalist, but her spiral into conservative conspiracies still has some shellshocked.