Stephen Miller reaches back to 1972 to accuse Jane Fonda of treason

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Jane Fonda has been an active opponent of new oil pipelines, drawing the ire of conservatives (AFP via Getty Images)
Jane Fonda has been an active opponent of new oil pipelines, drawing the ire of conservatives (AFP via Getty Images)

Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller dug up some ancient dirt on Jane Fonda on Wednesday, accusing the actress and activist of committing treason in the 1970s.

“By any definition, what she did in the Vietnam War is treason,” Mr Miller said on Fox News Primetime. “And she’s held up as a hero?”

The accusation came amid a discussion of Fonda’s recent criticism of President Joe Biden, who she says has done “not enough” to protect the environment. This week she joined protests against the proposed Line 3 oil pipeline in northern Minnesota, arguing that it would violate Native American lands.

Mr Miller defended that pipeline, and objected to the protesters’ embrace of the two-time Oscar winner as a spokesperson.

“What kind of movement holds up as a leader, even venerates a person like Jane Fonda?” he asked incredulously. “When she volunteered herself as a tool of North Vietnamese communist propaganda, she did propaganda broadcasts on their radio station in North Vietnam. She sat on their anti-aircraft battery that’s used to shoot down American planes and American airmen.”

In 1972, Ms Fonda took a much-publicised tour of North Vietnam, which the United States was still at war with at the time. Over the course of two weeks, she visited villages damaged by American bombs, posed for photos with a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun, and begged US pilots to stop the bombings via the Voice of Vietnam radio station.

The visit was bitterly controversial at the time – earning her the nickname Hanoi Jane – but Fonda has never been charged with treason. She has also later apologised to American veterans for her actions.

“I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I’m very sorry that I hurt them,” she told Barbara Walters in 1988.

A spokesperson for the actor has not yet responded to The Independent’s request for comment.

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On Twitter, Mr Miller’s “treason” remarks drew accusations of hypocrisy.

“Then what’s this?” one user wrote, along with a photo of Trump supporters climbing a wall during the 6 January Capitol riot.

“I don’t see Jane Fonda scaling that wall!” someone else added.

Others noted that the controversy was almost five decades old.

“Yawn,” one user tweeted. “Miller has to dig back half a century to find someone to trash. No dice.”

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