The Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. lashed out at U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) this morning, objecting to his labeling the nation's government "fascist" in a Congressional hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The embassy statement warns that Wyden's characterization could damage U.S.-Russian relations—and then calls him deranged.
"Today, the senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden, allowed an unacceptable insinuation against Russia by calling its leadership fascist. Has reason left yet another lawmaker in Washington? Did he understand what he was talking about? Or the main thing is to draw attention to yourself, if you can't beat any proof out of those you're questioning?"
The Russian outcry comes a day after Wyden, in a Senate committee hearing, gave a speech decrying Kremlin efforts to undermine the 2016 U.S. Presidential election by purchasing Facebook posts that—along other things—suggested Hillary Clinton was in league with Satan.
Wyden, a longtime observer of the intelligence services, described Russian meddling as spycraft.
"With the current fascist leadership of Russia enthusiastically undermining our democracy, America must defend the values that made us great and aggressively confront this espionage," Wyden said.
That hit a nerve.
The translations of the embassy statement differ, but the basic gist is the same: outrage.
"As it has often been in the United States recently, [they] seek to hide awkward facts by insults," the statement says. "It's high time for those here who prefer the tone of hucksters who unleashed World War II to get the message that Russia never interferes into the United States' domestic affairs."
The Senate investigation has revealed the opposite: The Russian government purchased dozens of ads on Facebook and Twitter, viewed by millions of people, that used memes in an attempt to swing the election in favor of President Donald Trump.
Update, 2:25 pm: Wyden doubled down, via Twitter.