Kentucky Democrats sell 'Moscow Mitch' gear after McConnell blocks election security bills

The Kentucky Democratic Party on Wednesday launched a “Moscow Mitch” online store, making use of a nickname handed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) over his blocking of election security legislation.

The party’s online store is promoting red buttons, vinyl stickers, a T-shirt and a cossack hat, all decorated with the phrase, “Just say nyet! to Moscow Mitch,” in Soviet-style lettering.

The nickname comes after McConnell last week blocked two election security bills, despite warnings from intelligence officials and former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE that Russian interference in the 2020 election was likely to take place.

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One of the bills would require the use of paper ballots, and the other would require candidates, campaigns or family members to notify the FBI about assistance offers from foreign governments.

The majority leader’s move prompted widespread backlash. 

MSNBC host and former GOP congressman Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughHillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps Homeland Security Democrats urge Zuckerberg to act on ‘dangerous’ Trump posts Scarborough, Hunt laud Romney for joining protesters: ‘Such a turning point’ for GOP support of Trump MORE later called McConnell’s actions “un-American,” labeling the Kentucky lawmaker “Moscow Mitch” and accusing him of “aiding and abetting Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRepublicans release newly declassified intelligence document on FBI source Steele Feehery: How Trump can turn the protests into parades dedicated to making America great again You may pay more at the pump, as OPEC+ cuts oil production MORE’s ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy.”

The hashtag #MoscowMitch quickly took off on social media, and several other hashtags and phrases, including #MoscowMitchMcTreason and “Mitch McConnell is a Russian” have trended on Twitter after the senator defended his decision to block the bills.

McConnell hit back on Monday, comparing the attacks against him to “modern-day McCarthyism” and blasting critics for using “unhinged smears.”

“These theatrical requests happen all the time here on the Senate. I promise that nobody involved, including my friend the Democratic leader who made the request, actually thought he’d get a Republican Senate to instantly, unanimously pass a bill that got one Republican vote over in the House,” McConnell said from the Senate floor. 

“It doesn’t make Republicans traitors or un-American. It makes us policymakers with a different opinion,” he added.

McConnell’s campaign appropriated the nickname on Tuesday for a drink recommendation mocking Democrats ahead of their presidential primary debate:

The Hill has reached out to McConnell’s office for further comment.

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