Allegedly in October, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a gathering of anti-war demonstrators to “go back to China.” The lawmaker has since been the target of intense criticism after a video of the speech become popular online. This incident is just the most recent in which the 83-year-old representative has suggested foreign agents are behind demonstrations to find peaceful resolutions to the conflicts occurring overseas.
The video showing Pelosi and anti-war demonstrators engaging in a verbal sparring session went viral, leading to the latest outcry. The footage of the fight was shared on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, by the activist group CODEPINK, which Pelosi mentions in the video. It shows the senior politician urging the group to go back to the communist nation of China and accusing them of having a Chinese headquarters.
Pelosi seemed to be alluding to August claims made by The New York Times, which claimed that a socialist millionaire was sponsoring multiple groups, CODEPINK included. According to the Times, Neville Roy Singham is involved in direct propaganda pushing for the Chinese government. He uses American groups abroad to spread the values of the communist country. Singham resides in Shanghai and is involved in the production of a YouTube program that is partially funded by the propaganda department.
Pelosi has also suggested that Russia is behind American activists’ demands for Israel to call a cease-fire with Hamas. TIME wrote that she went as far as to suggest that the FBI look into the possibility that some pro-armistice activist groups in the US had Russian backing.
CODEPINK has issued a statement denouncing Pelosi for what they call her “slanderous” comments, in which she implied that peace activists were “un-American.” The group states that its activists haven’t received any foreign funds for their work, adding that its members simply want to see an end to the violence.