Actor Morgan Freeman and the late Senator John McCain are among hundreds of Americans exiled from Russia, according to a “blacklist” released by the nation’s State Department on Saturday.
The list also includes President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as a number of prominent politicians such as New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a host of businesspeople, journalists and other Hollywood stars also made it into the running.
The Russian Foreign Ministry released the updated list of 963 people in response to US sanctions and its support for Ukraine. The ministry said each of those listed had worked to incite “Russophobia” and were no longer welcome in the country.
“In connection with the response to the persistently imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the United States, and in connection with incoming inquiries about the personal composition of our national ‘stop list,’ the Russian State Department is releasing a list of American citizens who are permanently barred from entering Russian Federation,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Russia does not seek confrontation and is open to honest, mutually respectful dialogue that separates the American people, whom we always respect, from the US authorities who foment Russophobia and those who serve them. These people are included in Russia’s ‘black list’,” she added.
Freeman was likely included in the list along with actor Rob Reiner for their work in support of The Committee to Investigate Russia, a nonprofit focused on deterring Russian interference in US elections. The group formed in 2017, with Reiner on the advisory board while Freeman did voiceover for a released video.
Russia previously criticized the group, claiming that the two actors are “easily victims of emotional distress without having any real information about the real state of affairs”.
McCain, who died in 2018, was one of Russia’s harshest Republican critics in the Senate and had long advocated for the US to help Ukraine and other nearby nations protect themselves from a Russian attack. Russia has also added other deceased lawmakers to its list, including Nevada Democrat Harry Reid and Utah Republican Orrin Hatch.
One name notably missing from the list was Donald Trump. The former president was known for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin during his tenure and criticizing investigations into Kremlin interference in American politics.
Biden’s former White House press secretary Jen Psaki poked fun at the situation, writing sarcastically on Twitter, “Guess we’ll have to cancel our August family trip to Moscow…”
https://www.newsweek.com/morgan-freeman-late-john-mccain-among-americans-banned-russia-1708936 Morgan Freeman, the late John McCain among the Americans exiled from Russia