Pete Buttigieg, Dr. Rachel Levine & all LGBTQ members of Congress banned from Russia

Secretary Pete Buttigieg
Secretary Pete Buttigieg Photo: Shutterstock

Russia permanently banned a list of nearly 1000 prominent Americans from traveling to that country in what has been interpreted as a response to U.S.-led sanctions against the country for invading Ukraine. The banned Americans include top Democrats like President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Also appearing on the list meant to punish the U.S. for its opposition to the invasion are out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, out Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Rachel Levine, and all the LGBTQ members of the House of Representatives.

Related: Queer Pussy Riot leader daringly escapes Russia disguised as a food courier

The list includes Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI), Angie Craig (D-MN), Sharice Davids (D-KS), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY). Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are apparently still welcome in Russia.

Donald Trump – who called Russian leader Vladimir Putin “genius” and “savvy” when he invaded Ukraine – is not on the list. Former Vice President Mike Pence isn’t either, and neither is out former Trump administration official Richard Grenell.

According to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia was “forced” to make the list and that the bans “are aimed at forcing the ruling American regime to change its behavior,” accusing the U.S. of trying to impose a “rules-based world order” on other countries.

The Foreign Ministry said that U.S.-led sanctions will “boomerang back to hit the United States itself” and “will continue to receive proper rebuffs.”

Most of the people banned by Russia have not yet commented on it, but Psaki – of course – was ready with a clapback.

“I guess we will have to cancel our August family trip to Moscow…” she quipped on Twitter.


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