Rachel Maddow is not known for her cautiousness on the topic of Russia, preferring to head straight for the wackiest conspiracy theories as a matter of priority, but on Wednesday she posed a theory that seems crazy, even for her.
The MSNBC host and Russiagate aficionado used the spate of treacherous winter weather conditions across the US to fear-monger about what might happen if Russia decided to “kill the power” for seemingly no reason other than pure maliciousness.
During a segment about the US intelligence community’s new ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ report, Maddow zeroed in on a section which concluded that Russia and China possess the ability to shut off heat and electricity across the US whenever they want.
Anyone familiar with Maddow’s show will know this kind of speculation is like catnip to the panicky host, who proceeded to sternly warn Americans that foreign adversaries had been “laying the groundwork to one day flip the ‘off’ switch” on their gas or electricity.
There have already been “rumblings” Maddow said, of foreign hackers accessing US power grids.
It’s possible that Maddow was partly referring to a botched 2016 Washington Post story which claimed that Russia had infiltrated Vermont’s power grid. The paper was forced to correct that story after getting it completely wrong (spoiler: Russia did not hack the grid).
Maddow warned Americans that as they shivered in the freezing cold temperatures this winter, they were actually “relying on [Russia and China’s] good graces” to keep the heating on.